Meskerem Niesette Ritmeester

Linking and Learning Officer

Addis ababa, Ethiopia

About Me

I am passionate about exchanging knowledge and experiences on a range of different issues. Gender-sensitive agricultural development, project activities and/or innovations that empower women, nutrition-sensitive agriculture and food security are of special interest to me. I like to bring people, organizations, institutions and development agencies together to work towards a shared goal of achieving sustainable agriculture and food security for all. By going on this path together, new ideas can be created and solutions can be found to overcome challenges.

Skills and Expertise


Posted By in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
Posted 12 May 2018 at 12:31


Creating Healthy Food Systems in African mega cities

Around the world, food systems are quickly changing as populations rapidly become more urbanized. The Netherlands and its Wageningen University and Research (WUR) are globally recognized as big players in the area of sustainable agrofood systems. To tackle the challenges related to feeding a growing urban population, the Wageningen University will use its 100-year celebration to organize multi-stakeholder exchanges on “Access to healthy food in mega cities”. One of the Wageningen University events will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on June 23rd 2018. 

For this event, we are looking for evidence-based research on the challenges and opportunities regarding access to healthy food in mega cities in East Africa (mainly Ethiopia). These researches will then be transformed into poster presentations to be shared during the Wageningen University Event.

Sub-topics of interest under the umbrella of acce

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Selam Meseret Thank you for sharing. Please the e-mail account,, isn't working. Regards, 

1 month 1 week ago

Meskerem Niesette Ritmeester Sorry for the inconvenience. The correct e-mail account should be:   (NOT .com!!) 

1 month 1 week ago

Sarah Assefa Thank-you Selam Meseret - the problem is now solved: correct email address is (.org not .com!) I have edited the post above to be correct as well.

1 month 1 week ago

Posted By in Innovation Community NUTRITION
Posted 1 February 2018 at 04:06

AgriProFocus Ethiopia Supported EKN in Promoting Healthy and Nutritious Diets

The Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands (EKN) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, held a family day on 27 January 2018 for its staff members and their families. Next to a lot of sport and fun activities for young and old, the EKN asked AgriProFocus Ethiopia to organize an interactive session to promote ‘healthy and nutritious diets’.

AgriProFocus Ethiopia provided an 1-hour-long knowledge exchange session on how to make healthy food choices for yourself and for your household. For this interactive knowledge sharing session,  AgriProFocus Ethiopia worked together with one of its network members called Sara Antonio, who is a professional nutritionist.

The session started with a clear explanation of the food pyramid. The best way to understand what is exactly a healthy and balanced diet is to use this food pyramid as a guide. This food pyramid shows 7 layers of 7 different food groups. On each layer, we have

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Public Seminar: The Potential of Value Chains for Nutrition

Event posted by in Innovation Community NUTRITION
  16 February 2018, All Day Event
  Azzeman Hotel (Bole Area), Addis Ababa

The Food & Business Knowledge Platform, NWO-WOTRO and AgriProFocus Ethiopia, in close collaboration with IFPRI and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are organizing the public seminar “The potential of value chains for nutrition: Knowledge exchange for better informed policies and practices” on Friday 16 February 2018 in Azzeman Hotel, in Addis Ababa.

The public seminar will focus on the potential of nutrition-sensitive value chain interventions for improved nutritional intake in Ethiopia. Experts working with and in Ethiopian food value chains from policy, practice and research will be invited to exchange with Applied Research Fund projects (third Call) from Africa, Asia and the Netherlands that will be in Addis Ababa for their kick-off workshop that week.

The seminar will look at how knowledge co-creation, sharing and research uptake throughout the food value chain can be improved in order to contribute to Food and Nutrition Security. Please download the 2-page background document e

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Inclusive and Climate-Smart Dairy Business Models (Ethiopia)

Event posted by in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
  15 February 2018, 09:00-13:30
  Azzeman Hotel (Bole area), Addis Ababa

Invitation to the Inception workshop for the research and scaling-up project Inclusive and climate smart business models in Ethiopian and Kenyan dairy value chains

Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences and partners will start an NWO-funded research programme in Ethiopia and Kenya. In the attachment you will find the official invitation for the workshop "Inclusive and climate smart business models in Ethiopian and Kenyan dairy value chains" in Addis Ababa on February 15 from 9:00h-13.30h in Azzeman Hotel (Bole area, Addis Ababa).

The main objective (and reason for AgriProFocus Ethiopia to be involved) is to share and obtain input on the chosen research approach with key stakeholders and to adapt the research design based on the input from stakeholders.

If you are interested to join our meeting or you need further information, please register with Meskerem Ritmeester 


International Nutrition Conference

Event posted by in Innovation Community NUTRITION
  18 August 2018, All Day Event
  Hawassa University in Hawassa Town

Academic Center of Excellence organizes first International Nutrition Conference

Proposed Themes are:

1. Partnership for Long and Short term Training

2. Global Food Safety Concerns and ways forward 

3. Food Fortification: experiences and ways forward

4. School feeding for better Nutrition, to support education and local economy

5. Trends in improving health and nutrition in developing countries

6. Food and Nutrition small enterprises to minimize Youth unemployment 

7. Food Systems, Agriculture, Nutrition and Health Linkages

8. Under-utilized crops for Nutrition Security

The Conference will be held in Hawassa Town, Ethiopia, on 18 August 2018

The major aims in hosting the Conference is to share experiences by working together during preparation for the conference and in the future.

The Academic center is looking for collaboration with your organization to co-host the Conference

Maybe there are other themes that they might consider to include?

As we all know, hosting an International Conference

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Posted By in Innovation Community NUTRITION
Posted 10 August 2017 at 09:11

REPORT: Homegardens for Better Nutrition Event at the EU

As part of the Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture platform facilitated by AgriProFocus and the EU, four workshops have been organized in 2016. The first workshop of 2017, held on May 31st , addressed the issue of homegardens for better nutrition. Different guest speakers, Mekonnen from CRS, Medhanit from FHI360 and Mesfin from Send A Cow presented about different type of homegardens (e.g. permagardening, keyhole gardening etc.) and about the nutritional benefit for rural households to combine homegardening with livestock rearing. In addition, Mestawet from AKLDP/Tufts University was a special guests as she is responsible for the Ethiopian Home Gardens Networkand for the provision of permagardening (ToT) training. 

Please find the workshop report attached. 

Kflay Gebrehiwot Yaynemsa Hi ,The link to the report is not active.

10 months 1 week ago

Meskerem Niesette Ritmeester Dear Kflay Gebrehiwot Yaynemsa, Sorry for the delay. I had a little trouble uploading this report, but here it is. Enjoy reading! 

9 months 3 weeks ago

Kflay Gebrehiwot Yaynemsa Thanks Meskerem.

9 months 3 weeks ago


Dr. Alula Pankhurst on Rural Youth Dev. & Entrepreneurship

Event posted by in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
  01 June 2017, 17:30-19:00
  BlueMoon Initiative, METI Building, Bole area (Between Edna Mall and Atlas Hotel)

It is our pleasure to invite you to the Fireside Chat with the well-known Dr. Alula Pankhurst and his co-researcher Catherine Dom on“Youth Development & Entrepreneurship: Pathway to Independence” on Thursday June 1stfrom 5:30PM – 7:00PM(walk-in and registration from 5:00PM) at the office of Dr. Eleni's BlueMoon Initiative.

This Fireside Chat is organized by AgriProFocus' Youth in Agribusiness Community in cooperation with the BlueMoon Initiative. In the form of an interactive session of knowledge sharing and question and answer moments, Dr. Alula Pankhurst and Catherine Dom will share their research findings on the topics of:

1) Youth transformation to adulthood and independence

2) Young women’s economic participation

3) Successful youth entrepreneurship

These research findings are part of a 20+ year longitudinal study of community change in rural Ethiopia of which Dr. Alula is the lead researcher. The purpose of sharing this highly valuable research is to provide all actors that are

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Workshop: Nutrition-Sensitive Ag. through Homegardening

Event posted by in AgriProFocus Ethiopia
  31 May 2017, All Day Event
  EU Delegation (Across the street from Desalegn Hotel), Addis Ababa

The EU/AgriProFocus Innovation Community on Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture invites you to the first workshop of this year to discuss the topic of homegardens. This first workshop will be organized in collaboration with the Homegardens Network. In the morning, we have different guest speakers talking about their experiences with homegarden projects and how homegardens can contribute to better nutrition while also talking about the success and failures in their implementations. Working group discussions will be held in the afternoon to exchange knowledge, best practices and challenges regarding homegardening and its impact on nutrition.

This full-day workshop will be held at the EU Delegation, on Wednesday 31 May from 9AM-4PM.

Since space is limited, we will allocate space for interested people on a first come, first serve basis.

If you would like to participate, please register with Ms. Ursula Truebswasser,, or with Mr. Pierre-Luc Van Haeverbeke, pierre-luc.vanhae

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2nd Int. Conference: Advancing Food & Nutrition in Africa

Event posted by in Innovation Community NUTRITION
  29 December 2017 to 31 December 2017 - All Day Event
  Jijiga city, Somali Region, Ethiopia

Jijiga University of Ethiopia is planning to organize the 2nd International conference on “Narrowing the disparity Gaps among marginalized population in Africa”: Advancing Food and nutrition in Africa. Tentatively the conferences will be held on the coming Dec 29-31, 2017 at Jijiga city of Somali regional state, Ethiopia.

In this event the following sub-themes are selected for the scientific scholars to deliver their speech and share their research findings and show policy direction. Sub themes and the specific themes will be as follows:

1. Food Security:

• Food insecurity among marginalized population in Africa

• Factors contributing food insecurity in Africa

• Climate stress and food security in Africa

2. Evidence based interventions of the food and nutrition worldwide:

• Safety net and emergency interventions (Positive and negative aspects)

• Agricultural interventions, what works and does not work?

• Social and Cultural aspects in implem

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Posted By in Youth, Agriculture, Business
Posted 4 May 2017 at 06:45

The University of Gondar and Queen’s University Join The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program

Partnership will provide 450 scholarships to promising young African leaders and develop Ethiopia’s first occupational therapy program

Ethiopia’s University of Gondar and Canada’s Queen’s University today announced a 10-year, USD$24.2 million partnership to advance inclusive higher education for young people with disabilities in Ethiopia and other countries in Africa, as part of The MasterCard Foundation’s Scholars Program. The partnership will provide 450 next-generation African leaders with a high-quality university education at the University of Gondar, while also providing 60 of the university’s faculty members with the opportunity to study at Queen’s University, where they will enhance their skills in innovative pedagogy and in leading collaborative research between African and North American universities. The University of Gondar and Que

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Posted By in Jobs and Call for Proposals
Posted 1 May 2017 at 08:12

Posted By in Jobs and Call for Proposals
Posted 26 April 2017 at 03:19

BioInnovate Africa Programme Phase II: Call for Concept Notes

First open call for concept notes for creating value for smallholder farming communities through sustainable bioinnovations

Grant categories: Category 1 - developing and piloting economically viable bio-based technologies and products, and Category 2 - technology business incubation.

Thematic focus areas: a) Value addition to agro-produce; and, b) agro / biowaste conversion;

Eligible applicants: Scientists, researchers and innovators resident in one of the eastern African countries of

Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

Partners per project: Minimum 3 and maximum 7 from at least two of the eligible countries.

Grant period: Up to 3 years (2017-2020)

Grant amount per project: US$ 750,000 for Category 1 grant; and US$ 250,000 for Category 2 grant.

Total budgetary allocation: US$ 5 million

Call deadline: 2nd June 2017.

Find more detailed information here.


CIMMYT Seminar: Understanding Gender in Agriculture

Event posted by in Ethiopian Network - Gender Equality in Agriculture
  05 May 2017, 14:00-15:30
  ILRI Campus, Lalibela Auditorium (Gurde Shola, Addis Ababa)

You are cordially invited to a panel presentation on "Understanding gender in agriculture in Ethiopia" hosted by CIMMYT and chaired by Dr. Kristie Drucza. The Seminar will take place on Friday May 5, 2017 at 2PM-3:30PM in the Lalibela Auditorium of the ILRI Campus (Gurde Shola, Addis Ababa).

The following four different presentations will be provided to you during this Seminar:

1. Data mining results: What three different quantitative surveys tell us about gender (Presented by Dagmawit Grief).

2. What promising gender approaches and methodologies are being used in Ethiopia’s agricultural sector (results from stakeholder consultations) and what does best-practice gender mainstreaming look like? (Presented by Wondimu Abebe)

3. ‘What works’ (and what does not work) for gender/social norm changes in agricultural development projects? Initial results from a meta-evaluation on 18 external evaluations from agricultural programs in Ethiopia (presented by Emily Springer)

4. Agr

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NEW Powerpoint Available on CASCAPE's Gender-Sensitive Activities

These additional powerpoint slides from the Third Forum Series of the ENGEA meeting on March 17, 2017, provide extra information on CASCAPE's current and previous activities regarding women-specific, labour-saving technologies.

Documents of the Third Forum Series ENGEA NOW Online!

CASCAPE & Labor-Saving Women Specific Agricultural Technologies

The Ethiopian Network for Gender Equality in Agriculture (ENGEA) organized the third forum in a series to raise awareness on gender issues on March 17, 2017 at BENEFIT-Partnership office in the morning. You can find the summary of this forum meeting here

The powerpoint presentation of CASCAPE provide an overview of CASCAPE's experience with the introduction and testing of homegarden practices, enset processing devices and row weeder technologies and the activities undertaken to mainstream gender in the project, as well as the main findings and recommendations of the gender analysis conducted, were highlighted.

Posted By in Innovation Community NUTRITION
Posted 28 March 2017 at 01:39

FAO Online Discussion & Discussion Paper on the Nutrion-Sensitive Value Chains Framework

Discussion Paper from the Committee on World Food Security

The Rome-based Agencies Working Group (Including FAO, WFP and IFAD) has developed a joint nutrition-sensitive value chain (NSVC) framework. The NSVC framework is a practical approach to navigate the complexity of food systems and identify investment and policy opportunities to ensure that food value chains contribute to improved food security and nutrition. Opportunities to enhance nutrition outcomes arise at all stages of the value chain, from production to consumption. Adopting a NSVC approach allows for analyzing the roles and incentives of different actors along the chain, and to consider what may be the impact on cross cutting issues such as gender and climate change, as well as what policy and regulatory environment is conducive for VC to contribute to nutrition.

Follow the online discussion "How can value chains be shaped to improve

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ENGEA Labor-Saving & Women-Specific Technologies

Event posted by in Ethiopian Network - Gender Equality in Agriculture
  17 March 2017, 10:00-12:00
  BENEFIT-Partnership Office (Above Shoa Supermarket in Bisrate Gabriel area)

The Ethiopian Network for Gender Equality in Agriculture (ENGEA) has organized the third forum in a series to raise awareness on gender issues on March 17, 2017 at 10AM-12PM at BENEFIT-Partnership office in the morning. 

This forum will feature a presentation on the experiences of BENEFIT-CASCAPE with labor-saving, women-specific agricultural technologies. In particular, it will address the successes and challenges in the introduction and testing of homegarden practices, enset processing devices and row weeder technologies. An overview of the CASCAPE project will be provided, and the activities undertaken to mainstream gender in the project, as well as the main findings and recommendations of the gender analysis conducted, will be highlighted.

If you wish to join this meeting, please confirm your presence with Seblewongel Deneke

Direction to BENEFIT- Partnership office: BENEFIT Partnership (Bilateral Ethiopian Netherlands Effort for Food, Income an

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Posted By in Youth, Agriculture, Business
Posted 13 March 2017 at 03:08

AgriProFocus Presence at Mastercard's YAW Summit to Promote Engagement of Youth in Agriculture

On February 16 and 17, 2017, the Young Africa Works Summit was held in Kigali, Rwanda. This Summit was organized by the Mastercard Foundation in support of YPARD. The AgriProFocus Ethiopia office had the chance to attend this invitation-only meeting where AgriProFocus’ activities in the area of youth engagement in agriculture were displayed and connections with interesting partners were made.

According to Mastercard Foundation, “Africa is the world’s most youthful continent. Each year, over 11 million young Africans are entering the job market — but not the workforce. Today, the continent is facing a double employment crisis: both a lack of jobs for youth, and an increasing number of young people in need of work. Agriculture, the largest sector of employment in Africa, promises opportunities for job growth and economic prosperity. But transforming into a modern, sustainable and profita

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Posted By in Jobs and Call for Proposals
Posted 13 March 2017 at 01:56

Summary available of Second Forum Meeting on Gender in GRAD project

Please find a summary of the Gender in GRAD Project presentation – Strategies, Challenges and Outcomes” of Semhal Getachew who is the Gender and Youth Advisor at CARE. This forum meeting is the second in a series and organized by the Ethiopian Network - Gender Equality in Agriculture (ENGEA). This meeting was attended by 20 network members. 

Click here to access the PowerPoint Presentation.