On the 15th and 16th of May 2013, the Sesame Business Network Support Programme (SBN-SP) was officially launched at Taye Hotel, Gondar in the presence of various stakeholders drawn from sesame production and business sector in the Northwest Ethiopia. The launching workshop was coordinated by Center for Development Innovation (CDI) Wageningen University, Netherlands in collaboration with Gondar and Humera Agricultural Research Centers (ARCs) and Bureaus of Agriculture (BoA) in Tigray and Amhara regions.
The main objective of the workshop was to develop collaborative and productive working relations among different stakeholders and support programmes within the SBN so that they can jointly develop more competitive, sustainable and inclusive sesame value chains.
In his welcoming remarks, Dr. Geremew Terefe, national coordinator of the SBN-SP stated that the launching workshop was an important platform in which various stakeholders in the SBN came together and engage in lively discussions and share experience for their mutual benefit.
Dr. Eyasu Abraha, Director General of Tigray Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) pointed out that the workshop is a landmark in the history of sesame value chain in Ethiopia as it is being held at the time when the country is targeting to double its productivity of sesame and reach higher value markets.
Keynote speaker Dr. Fentahun Mengistu, Director General of Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute (ARARI) also emphasized that it is high time to think about value addition to enter into high value market opportunities through the concerted and orchestrated effort of all value chain actors, government and donor organizations primarily by focusing on technical backstopping, finance availing and market linking.
In providing the background, Ted Scrader, a principal coordinator of the SBN-SP form CDI pointed out that the launching event came after baseline studies and other small workshops have been conducted as of January 2013. He added that the three year programme will provide support for the sesame value chains in north Gondar and west Tigray areas with the financial support from the Kingdom of the Netherlands Embassy in Addis Ababa and technical support from CDI and ARCs in Amhara and Tigray regions.
The support programme follows a cluster approach. Building on the results of preparatory workshops and baseline studies, nineteen clusters have been formed in potential sesame production woredas of Tigray and Amhara regions.
The launching workshop gave chance to almost all the nineteen clusters to present themselves and their respective business cases and discuss their cases thoroughly with other stakeholders. The main constraints in the sesame production and marketing sector which were identified in the baseline studies were further scrutinized in frequent group discussions.
The workshop convened more than 92 participants drawn from primary cooperatives, unions, processors, ARCs, BoA, Mekelle and Bahir Dar Universities, Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), Agriterra, SNV, Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD), 2SCALE, International Fertilizer Development Center(IFDC), Capacity building for scaling up of evidence-based best practices in agricultural production in Ethiopia (CASCAPE), Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) and Woreda and Zone administrative Offices.
You can also watch a short film on the launching in our facebook page: