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AgriProFocus is an international multi-stakeholder network in the agri-food sector consisting of farmer entrepreneurs, private sector enterprises, governments, knowledge institutions and civil society organisations. By bringing these stakeholders together, their individual and collective impact increases.
Active in 13 countries in Africa and South-East Asia, and linking 23.000 agribusiness professionals worldwide, we are the go-to network for farmer entrepreneurs in agricultural value chains.
The AgriProFocus network members collaborate to strengthen the position of farmers and other agri-entrepreneurs in agricultural value chains. Entrepreneurs, small and medium scale, who are market oriented, business driven and willing to learn, innovate and grow. Entrepreneurs who together can, and will, make a difference for sustainable food and nutrition security at national, regional and international level.
Dutch Partnership Members 2017
Header photo: Creative Commons, Neil Palmer (CIAT)
One of biggest challenge the agriculture sector is facing, is the aging of farmers who re not able to cope with today's challenges. On the other side, we have an increasing number of unemployed young people. However, it seems all the young people who have ventured in agriculture are doing well. we have aproached Mr. Diego to share with us :
Who is Dieudonne?
I am Dieudone Twahirwa, nicknamed Diego. I am 29 years old and love agribusiness I currently specialize in chilli. I graduated from the University of Rwanda in 2012 in the faculty of Agriculture and I am now the Managing Director of Gashora Farm ltd in Bugesera District.
What motivated you to venture in chilli
I started growing tomatoes and watermelon on land equivalent to one tenth of a hectare with Rwf 130,000 worth of investment and earned Rwf1.3 million from the first harvest.
Though it was doing well, the biggest challenge was that the tomato produce... Read more
Many of us recognize the important role of young women and men in realizing a sustainable agri-food sector in the near future. We are also aware of the many challenges young people face as agripreneurs in the sector. Many stakeholders, including members of AgriProFocus, develop and implement projects and programmes in low and middle income countries for and with youth in order to find innovative solutions for these challenges and explore, pilot and upscale opportunities that contribute to the transformation of the agri-food sector. Collaboration and sharing of experiences are important to inspire, increase synergy, to improve and be more effective in tackling worldwide challenges in the agri-food sector.
The AgriProFocus network, in close collaboration with the F&BKP, facilitates a Community of Practice (CoP) for and with professional youth from members and stakeholders, with the aim to jointly contribute to innovative solutions for young people to become successful agripreneurs in the agri... Read more
HEKS-EPER is a Swiss based development organization, working in Ethiopia since 2003. Thematic areas include food security/ food sovereignty, market systems, water development, and pastoralist livelihoods development. Capacity development and resilient building are two major str... Read more
Apni Olivia Naibaho, a young female farmer from Pematang Siantar, North Sumatera is one of our Young Agripreneurz Ambassador 2016 finalist and been honored as most dedicated participant. Before become a farmer, she is graduate from master program in one of university in Jakarta and used to work in capital city for years. During that time, whenever she come home to Pematang Siantar, she looks at the way of farming that all the farmers in her region done : using pesticide and chemical fertilizer massively. This way of farming affects the products qual... Read more
Tina Napitupulu, (former) Country Coordinator, AgriProFocus Indonesia:
“The Young Agripreneurz Ambassador is a competition and campaign organised by the Innovation and Learning Community Youth and Agriculture under the AgriProFocus Indonesia network. The goal of the campaign was to promote agri-entrepreneurship among youth and make agriculture more attractive as a source of income. The chosen ambassadors set up a campaign to show the young generation that agribusiness is cool and there are young farmer entrepreneurs who have been successful in developing their agribusiness, especially in Indonesia. The candidates who entered the competition were provided with a series of trainings and classes, including IT and business, value chain analysis, but also training in leadership and public speaking. We visited companies, a school, and even held a press conference with much media attention.
Our network involved various members and stakeholde... Read more
In June 2017, staff from Dutch embassies across Africa, Asia and the Netherlands visited Kenya for a learning journey. The journey was meant to jointly learn and reflect on the implementation of the Food and Nutrition Security (FNS) policy of the EKN. Participants visited programs in four sectors: dairy, horticulture, potato, and edible oils.
The delegation met with Kenyan and international farmers, processing companies, expertise centers and NGOs. The embassy staff will implement the ideas and insights developed during this learning journey in their work at national level.
Read more in the comprehensive articles from the learning journey on this Embassy Special by the Food and Business Knowledge Platform.
The key take-home lessons from the journey include:
• Further conceptualization and contextualization is needed for “inclusive business” models in order to better understand how to design and support them. T... Read more
The objectives are to:
1. Facilitate business-to-business sessions that will match youth entrepreneurs with industry players. (Agribusiness company industry leaders, investors, financial institutions (bank & non-bank))
2. Provide learning opportunities for business growth through intense masterclasses offered by experienced organisations.
The network is therefore looking for youth who meet the following criteria:
· Aged between 17 – 36 years
· Understand basic spoken English
· Have clear identification of gaps in scaling up their business
· Have a registered company
· Are involved in horticulture (to... Read more
Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences and AgriProFocus signed a Membership Agreement on 21st June 2017. Van Hall Larenstein’s Board Chairman Peter van Dongen and AgriProFocus’ Executive Director Sander Mager put their signatory and discussed the opportunities of further collaboration in a short meeting with staff of both organisations and a group of six students.
together with NpM Platform for Inclusive Finance and the Food & Business Knowledge Platform
Josien Sluijs, director of NpM, Platform for Inclusive Finance:
“Why is it so difficult for African farmers to have access to loans? If farmers are organised in formal groups, it is much easier for a financial institution to give a loan. The study ‘Finance for Smallholders’, carried out together with AgriProFocus and funded by the Food & Business Knowledge Platform gives insights. The study provides 14 models in Ethiopia, Mali, Rwanda and Uganda, in which NpM or AgriProFocus have managed to successfully finance farmers. AgriProFocus networks in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Benin and Mali, in cooperation with NpM, organised expert meetings to discuss the outcomes of the research. The meetings included a broad delegation of farming organiz... Read more
On the 12th and 13th of July 2017, AgriProFocus in partnership with SNV, Bank of Uganda, Trias, AMFUI, ISSD, IFDC, aBi Finance, GIZ, LADA, Excel Hort, Kabale Traders Association, Reign Business Development Agency (REBDA), KAZADI and Uganda National Seed Potato Association held an Agribusiness fair in the Kigez region covering (Kabale, Kisoro, Kanungu, Rukungiri, Rukiga and Rubanda) Districts. The event under the theme; Investment in New Technologies for Increased Market –Oriented Production was organised with an overall objective of facilitating a platform for building business & market linkages and between farmer entrepreneurs and Agribusiness Development Services provide... Read more
In October 2016 ARF-2 project members met for a learning exchange during the second International workshop of the Food & Business Applied Research Fund (ARF) in Cotonou, Benin. Since the ARF project groups aim to ensure their research is taken up in society, they all have a private organization as project leader of their consortium. The projects also need to embed their research in society from the very beginning of the project.
To support these groups in achieving these goals, the first two days of the workshop focused on knowledge exchange and strategies of co-creation and research uptake. In addition a public seminar was organized on the role of nutrition in agricultural value chains. During this third day workshop lessons were brought further with food security professionals from Benin.Read more
On the 30th June, 65 people attended the business cocktail during the 8th Agribusiness Club meeting at City Blue Hotel - Kacyiru, interacting and “networking”, a way to be updated on innovations & trends in the rwandan agribusiness sector and to be introduced to entrepreneurs, senior executives in various organisations, – government, NGOs, etc.
This AgriProFocus initiative which started more than 3 years ago
(1) Provides the Rwandan agribusiness practitioners with a platform to discuss, debate and learn about issues and opportunities along the different Rwandan agribusiness value-chains
(2) Provides agribusiness professionals an opportunity to expand professional connections and opportunities.
(3) increases agribusiness companies and practitioners’ visibility
During all these years, this networking cocktail has involved more than 300 professionals and entrepreneurs from va... Read more
This quarter AgirProFocus facilitated two sustainable value chain workshops in Ethiopia: one on mapping soil fertility value chains for the Fertile Grounds Initiative held in Ziway, and one on mapping tree seedling value chains for GiZ at Menagasha. Members of the AriProFocus Youth in Agribusiness Platform had the opportunity to participate in both workshops.
The interactive value chain mapping technique described in the by the AgriProFocus Gender in Value Chains Toolkits was used in both instances; workshop participants were supported to identify social, economic and environmental constraints and opportunities to the core and extended value chain of specific agricultural products (highland tree seedlings, lowland tree seedlings, compost, biochar, vermicompost, biofertilizer, and green manure seed).
Feedback from the tree seedling value chain workshop was very positive, feedback from the soil fertility... Read more
AgriProFocus coordinated the break out session which was facilitated in collaboration with SNV Netherlands Development Organization, Agriterra, Citizen Economic Empowerment Commission and the Ministry of Trades, Commerce and Industry.
Insightful views on the topics of discussion were shared. The topics included;
1. Network optimization. The case of AgriProFocus facilitated by AgriProFocus
2. Corporate governance of cooperatives- the MAKE or BREAK factor in achieving inclusive
participation by Agriterra
3. Business Development Management and negotiation skills by SNV Netherlands Development Organization
4. Out grower schemes – Accelerator of inclusive development by Citizen Economic Empowerment Commission (CEE... Read more
For more vlogs from our Dutch members, check: //agriprofocus.com/dutch-partnership
4th of July - Dutch Parliament - The Hague
A broad coalition of 45 parties urges the new Dutch cabinet in this manifesto to transition towards a sustainable food system, through which the Netherlands will contribute to green growth, healthy food for all, and a more peaceful world with less conflict and more stability. We ask the next government to invest in this, together with the private sector, consumers, civil society, farmers, education and science.
On July 4th a delegation of signatories presented the manifesto to the House of Representatives of the Committee on Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. You can watch the livestream (in Dutch) HERE.
The work does not stop here! This manifesto was an initiative of the Food Security Policy Group of the AgriProFocus network. In September we will organise a Masterclass FoodTransition for Members of Parliament. If you are interested to join, please contact Sander Mager (Chair of the Poli... Read more
From the 22nd until the 25th of June 2017, Dutch companies and organizations, active in agri-business in Rwanda, demonstrated their knowledge and expertise to the public at the Rwandan Agricultural Show in Kigali.
The expo was organized for the 12th year by the Rwandan Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI). This year’s theme was: ‘Adopt climate resilient technologies to improve farmer livelihoods’. MINAGRI stressed that Rwanda is in need of technologies that can help fight against climate change and the effects. Also, there is a need for sufficient quality seeds, fertilizers, water, and training and advice to ensure productive farming (source: http://www.newtimes.co.rw/section/read/214727/).
This year in the Holland pavilion the presence of Dutch agri-business companies was combined together with Dutch NGO’s active in the agri-business sector in Rwanda.
AgriProFocus stand received many visitors who were interested in... Read more
The Myanmar Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through its funding partner NICHE work together to strengthen agricultural schools in Myanmar. The NICHE programme in Myanmar concerns the strengthening of 5 pilot State Agricultural Institutes (SAIs) with an outreach to the 9 other SAIs. Hands-on support will be provided with curriculum review, teacher development and ICT needs. It also ensures that the SAI curriculum will be better tailored to job profiles and real job needs in the regions.
Capacity for curriculum de... Read more
With this question in mind around 200 entrepreneurs visited the first East Africa Business Dialogue organised by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and RVO last week. Dutch embassies in the region (Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda), sector representatives and companies with experience in East Africa were more than happy to share their knowledge and experiences with those interested in exploring the East African business opportunities.
AgriProFocus was also present on behalf of the sectors agrifood and horticulture. The AgriProFocus country networks provided the Dutch team with up-to-date insights into the market and related opportunities for Dutch agricultural companies (see booklet ‘Doing Business in East Africa’). Anne-Marie Slaa and Lisette van Benthum spoke with various company representatives with a clear interest in the linking services that the AgriProFocus teams can provide. Already during the event itself B2B linkages were made by... Read more