On Thursday November 22, 2018, AgriProFocus Ethiopia celebrated its Annual Network Day to strengthen the relations between AgriProFocus and its members and among the members themselves. The central theme of the Network Day was “Sustainable and inclusive agribusiness in Ethiopia”. Over 120 members from various sectors attended the event with full of excitement and energy. We would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to our members who attended the event and our partners who used the opportunity to promote and introduce their organizations and programs. We also thank our guest presenters (including in the afternoon parallel sessions) who took their time to prepare and provide their perspectives on sustainable commercial agriculture and agroecology to our network members.
What happened during this big event?
The morning session began by an overview of the AgriProFocus Ethiopia network achievements in 2018 and the plans for 2019 which was shared by Meskerem Ritmeester; country coordinator of AgriProFocus Ethiopia. Thereafter, the first guest speaker, Dr. Kristie Drucza from CIMMYT, continued her informative presentation entitled “Gender mainstreaming in Ethiopia’s agriculture sector”. The second guest speaker was Addis Ababa University College of Development Studies PhD candidate Beza Teferra. She presented her research on Food Security in Ethiopia; mainly on the impact of the nation-wide PSNP program. Last but not least, the international certification scheme NGO called UTZ/Rainforest Alliance was represented by Mr. Denu Lemma, the country coordinator of UTZ/Rainforest Alliance who presented how their organization contributes to markets for sustainability and certification.
Mr. Denu mentioned that Rainforest and UTZ are an international nonprofit organization working to build a future in which: nature is protected and biodiversity flourishes, where farmers, workers, and communities prosper, and where sustainable land use and responsible business practices are the norm.
According to Mr. Denu, “The New Rainforest Alliance: together, as one organization, we aim to accelerate global sustainability transformation by: Creating stronger incentives and tools, linking producers with global markets and creating the information system and technology.
The afternoon session had also other interesting activities: Parallel Breakout Sessions, Youth Business Challenge Launch by The Netherlands Embassy in Ethiopia together with ENTAG and the AgriProFocus Ethiopia and Networking reception and Exhibition.
Parallel Session 1a: Sustainability in commercial agriculture
In the first round of this session, commercial agribusinesses and civil society organizations shared their experience on their efforts to contribute to sustainable agrofood value chains. Panelists were Dutch agribusinesses such as Chico Meat and Florensis farm, and social sustainability-focused enterprises called Greenpath and Fairchain.
Parallel Session 1b: AgroEcology Platform – Stakeholder meeting for information sharing
The second round of this session consisted of showcasing best practices and sharing news from members of the Agroecology Network. Brief presentations on organic and ecological agriculture product and market development, research on integrated pest management, and sustainable land management in pastoralist areas were shared.
Presentations were given from representatives of the Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD), HEKS-EPER, Slow Food movement and Kulumssa Agricultural Research Center.
Session 2: Interactive learning on AgriProFocus Gender in Value Chains Training & Coaching
In this session an introduction into the Gender in Value Chain Training & Coaching that AgriProFocus Ethipia was certified to provide for its AgriProFocus Network members and partners. It gave an insight into the gender-sensitive training tools that AgriProFocus has developed, which could assist your organization in making your agricultural projects / agribusiness more gender-sensitive. Please find more information and a free e-learning on Gender mainstreaming in Value Chains on this page: www.agriprofocus.com/gender-in-value-chains. If you think this training could be interesting for your or your organization, please contact our office directly through email@example.com.
Session 3: AgriProFocus Online Communication Training
This training had two rounds of 45min. The training sessions was on how to use the AgriProFocus Online Platform. Which can help you to effectively promote yourself, your organization and request for collaboration / information on our Online Platform and our Social Media pages.
Generally, our Annual Network Day was successful in achieving its objectives. And for that we would like to thank again those who made it happen. Special thanks to our close partner, the Ethiopian-Netherlands Trade for Agricultural Growth (ENTAG) organization, which has sponsored our networking reception held at the end of the Network Day.