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SBN Support Project and 2SCALE organises planning meeting

Toward Sustainable Clusters in Agribusiness through Learning in Entrepreneurship (2SCALE) and SBN Support Project organised a one-day participatory planning workshop to sesame stakeholders on the 2nd of January 2016 at Gondar. The objective of the workshop was to discuss on the major activities which will be done to improve the production and marketing of rotational crops as of January 2016.

35 participants drawn from four farmers’ cooperative unions (Metema, Selam, Dansh Aurora and Setit); Bureau of Agriculture (woreda, zone and region); Cooperative Promotion Agency; SBN woreda focal persons; 2SCALE and SBN Support Project, participated in the workshop.

Dr. Geremew Terefe, SBN Support Project national manager, welcomed participants and gave an opening remark. In his remark, Dr. Geremew said; “the two projects have merged their resource and have been working in improving the production and marketing of rotational crops for the last three years.” He added; “The practice of mono-cropping; producing sesame after sesame; has been affecting the soil fertility and it has also been the major cause for pest and disease infestation. Therefore, to improve soil fertility, farmers’ should not produce sesame alone. They should produce other rotational crops” He said that the two projects will continue to provide their support in improving the productivity and marketing of rotational crops. He also expressed his belief that the meeting will help to discuss and plan the major activities that stakeholders and projects do in the years to come.

Mr. Tekalegn Ayano, 2SCALE assistant agribusiness cluster advisor, briefly presented on what 2SCALE has been doing in collaboration with SBN Support Project, other projects and private sectors all over the country. He also presented the 2SCALE’s approach (as it focuses on strengthening actors linkage in a cluster; public-private partnership as building blocks of clusters); strategic objectives; partners; priority sectors, clusters etc.

Mr. Addis Teshome, 2SCALE national coordinator and agribusiness cluster advisor, presented major focus areas of 2SCALE in the SBN Support Project priority domains. Mr.Addis mentioned that the focus of 2SCALE is mainly on crop rotation. He said the objective is creating sustainable sesame farming system by taking into account soil fertility management through crop rotation and reducing production and marketing risks. He then presented selected main activities, in which, 2SCALE will focus on the second phase of the SBN Support Project. The focus areas are: sorghum for food security, market development, mechanisation and capacity building. These activities are derived from SBC’s demand and fall under the five SBN objectives.

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Participants, discussing in groups

Following the presentations, participants work in four different groups under the four farmer cooperative unions and identified the major strength and weakness under the presented priority domains. In the afternoon, participants continue discussing under the four farmers’ cooperative unions and identified the key challenges and required changes following the priority domains. They also indicated their human resource requirements.

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By Sesame Business Network, Gondar-Ethiopia