On March 22, 2014 Sesame Business Network (SBN) Support Programme in collaboration with Humera Agricultural Research Center (HuARC) organised a one-day regional workshop for the 11 SBC and other stakeholders in the SBN at Humera, Western Tigray zone.
The main purpose of the workshop was to bring together all the 11 Sesame Business Clusters (SBCs) actors in western Tigray zone and share their experiences /results and achievements of the major support activities provided by the SBN support programme during 2013. It was also aimed at strengthening clusters so that they can work together as a team to achieve their shared economic objectives and to access the facilities provided by the SBN support programme.
Dr. Geremew Terefe, national coordinator of the SBN support programme welcomed the participants on behalf of the SBN support programme and HuARC.
The workshop was officially opened by Mr. Tesfaye Yebyo, head of Western Tigray Zone development corridor officially. In his speech Mr. Tesfaye said the workshop will not only serve the SBCs as a platform to evaluate what has been done so far by the different stakeholders of the SBN and its support programme but it will also provide opportunities to discuss about the way forward.
During the workshop presentations were made on the general overview of the SBN support programme, activities that have been done on communication, extension and training, summery of the clusters action plans, result of demonstration and yield loss studies, overall marketing activities, progress of credit and production cost studies and Sesame Business Cluster support facilities.
Also, representatives from HuARC and the zone branch office of Ethiopian Insurance Corporation presented the works that they do pertaining to sesame in the zone.
At the end of the workshop many of the participants said that they are happy with the one-day workshop. Measho H/Mariam from Dimtsi Woyane plc, said that the workshop helped him to learn more about the activities of the SBN and its support programme. He said he is impressed by the wide-range of support that the programme has provided so far.
Hagos Gebre, branch manager of Dedebit Credit and Saving Institution, also appreciated the efforts made by SBN and its support programme. He said the institute is ready to work in collaboration with SBN-support programme and improve the service that it gives to primary cooperatives and other actors.
As finance is one of the key challenges identified in the sector the willingness of this institute to collaborate with SBN-support programme will help reduce the existing problems pertaining to finance.
From the participants’ presentations and reflections, it was learnt that cluster actors have a better understanding of modalities of SBN support programme.
In his closing remark Dr. Geremew Terefe, emphasised the importance of strengthening clusters. He reminded participants that their active and wise participation will strengthen not only the SBCs but also the SBN at large.
The one-day workshop bring together110 participants drawn from the 11 SBCs, HuARC, zone and woreda administrations, development corridors, Office of Agricultures/Extension, Cooperative Promotion Offices, ECXs, Input Suppliers, Banks, Ethiopian Insurance Cooperation, Demtsi Woyane PlC, Mekele University /CASCAP, Dedebit Credit and Saving Institution, Dipassa Agroprom Plc, ACDI-VODCA, Selit halling, Hiwot Aricultural Mecanization plc. ALMICOM plc, Exporters (Wark Trading, Guna plc.) and other stakeholders.