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Sesame Business Network (SBN) Regional Workshop held in Gondar, Amhara Region

Amhara Region Sesame Business Clusters (SBCs) second regional workshop was held on Monday December 29, 2014 at Gondar. The workshop was organised by Sesame Business Network (SBN) Support Programme in collaboration with Gondar Agricultural Research center.

Participants of the workshop were drawn from farmers, primary cooperatives, woreda and zone Offices of Agriculture, Cooperative Promotion Agency/offices, Trade and Transport, ECX, Amhara Region Agricultural Institute, Precise consult International and SBN Support Programme. The workshop was held with the objective of reviewing the overall activities done by the Amhara Region Sesame Business Cluster stakeholders and the SBN Support Programme in 2014.

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Dr. Tilaye Teklewold, Amhara Region Agricultural Research Institute, deputy director, giving opening speech

The workshop was officially opened by Dr. Tilaye Teklewold, Amhara Region Agricultural Research Institute, deputy director. In his opening speech Dr. Tilaye appreciated all the stakeholders who participated in the scaling up activities which have been done in 414 model farmers and farmer training centers.

The workshop first highlighted the overall activities that have been done by the SBN Support Programme in collaboration with Amhara Region Agricultural Bureau, Gondar Agricultural Research Center and other partners and stakeholders in the sesame sector.

SBN focal persons from the five woreda offices of agriculture (Metema, Quara, Tach Armachiho, Mirab Armachiho and Tegede) presented their report on the result of the 20 steps sesame production technologies roll-out activities. In their presentations, focal persons emphasised the major challenges that they face and the solutions they used to meet the challenges during the implementation of the roll-out activities. They also presented their woreda’s plan of the 2015 production season. Following the focal person’s presentations, discussions were made on the issues presented and further scaling up of improved sesame production technologies and rotational crops. Participants focus on the coverage of the scaling-up activities, expected roles and contributions of different actores.

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Participants discussing in groups

Also, participants discussed in different groups on issues of marketing of sesame and rotational crops (sorghum, mung bean, soya bean and cotton), access to finance and credit, strengthening primary cooperatives, strengthening saving culture and other related issues. While presenting their discussion points, participants tried to highlight major activities to be done in 2015, who will do what, with whom and how.

Woreda SBN focal persons and Offices of Agriculture awarded

Quara, Metema, Tach Armachiho, Tegede and Mirab Armachiho Woreda Offices of Agricultures and the five focal persons in each woreda were given certificate of appreciation for their active and outstanding performance in the implementation of the roll-out activity in North Gondar zone.

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Dr. Tilaye, giving certificate of appreciation

The certificate of appreciation was given during the second regional workshop held in Gondar. After giving the certificate for the focal persons and heads of woreda agriculture offices, Dr. Tilaye Teklewold, expressed his hope that the focal persons and woredas will work very hard to further scaling up the improved technologies. He also informed participants that research institute will take into consideration the issues and concerns raised by participants pertaining to checking the local seed varieties, chemical use, crop-rotation and soil fertility.

Upon completion, Oscar Geerts, from SBN Support Programme, thanked the participants for their active participation. He pointed out that he was happy to see all presentations were given by the SBN stakeholders. This shows that SBN is taking over the SBN Support Programme. He underlined that the SBN Support Programme will keep on identifying major challenges and work together with all the stakeholders and concerned bodies to solve the challenges.

A detailed report of the workshop will soon be available in the resource page of the SBN website.

By Anteneh Mekuria 

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By Sesame Business Network, Gondar-Ethiopia