Our takeaways from Market Systems Symposium 2019

Last April, F&S Ethiopia sent one of its team members, Victor van der Linden, to the Market Systems Symposium 2019 in Cape town, South Africa. We are pleased to present his blog post on the symposium.

By Victor van der Linden

The Market Systems Symposium 2019 is unique in the world as it unites practitioners from around the globe, and is focused on peer learning and exploring cutting-edge market systems thought and theory.

Prior to the Symposium, one-day trainings were organized. I participated in the YOUTH EMPLOYMENT AND EMPLOYABILITY: Applying the MSD approach to labour market development training provided by Helvetas and focusing on Eastern Europe. Many useful parallels could be drawn with our own work on youth employment in Ethiopia for PerspActive. An interesting takeaway was the shift in mindset that has taken place, now seeing the employment sector as a market system and thus susceptible to market system development approaches. Also, the role TVETs, private sector companies and the media can play was especially inspiring.

The Symposium itself, which took place during 3 days, employed many different formats including plenary sessions, clinics and consultations to work on four main thematic areas: Adaptive Management, Market Systems Resilience, Application of Systems Thinking Beyond Agriculture, and Practical Application of MSD in Difficult Contexts.

The innovative formats and some very thoughtful facilitation allowed the participants to share their knowledge, to network among each other, but also get to know several organizations and their programs in a much more in-depth way than would have been the case in a standard conference. As MSD is very context specific the local reality of a project or program took center stage in the discussions.

F&S Ethiopia is involved as a technical partner in several MSD projects, among others in Ethiopia, on the border between Ethiopia and Kenya, and in the Eastern DRC. Hence, the application in difficult contexts (so-called thin markets with relatively few suitable market actors that can be employed for change) was of special interest and yielded some interesting lessons learned and best practices to take home to Ethiopia.

Another thing that resonated with our experience was the internal mechanics of MSD projects, including issues such as staffing, MEL system organization, and implementing practices. These should ideally be designed to allow for the much sought-after adaptive management that will create the necessary flexibility for successful implementation when working with non-traditional development partners in the private sector. This is an issue F&S Ethiopia encounters often, and which also comes up in the MSD work done by its mother company, F&S Consulting in the Netherlands.

F&S Ethiopia seeks to keep consolidating and broadening its knowledge on the MSD approach, to provide our clients with up-to-date practices and advice, and to realize our mission of assisting people in developing countries to improve their livelihoods.

Training Opportunity on “Gender in Agriculture Value Chains” – for Gender and Agriculture Development Practitioners

  • How inclusive are your development projects?
  • Would you like to equip your project staffs with contemporary practical tools to incorporate gender in all stages of value chain interventions?

Fair & Sustainable Ethiopia and AgriProFocus Ethiopia are pleased to organize an interactive training on “Gender in Agriculture Value Chains” that targets practitioners working on Gender and Agriculture sectors.

Training Course by: Angelica Senders, Gender in Value Chain Expert (Fair & Sustainable, The Netherlands)https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelicasenders/

Co-trainer: Meskerem Ritmeester (AgriProFocus Ethiopia, Country Network Coordinator) https://www.linkedin.com/in/meskerem-niesette-ritmeester-09213097/

The Training “Gender in Agriculture Value Chain” intends to support and encourage practitioners in integrating a gender perspective in agricultural

value chain development by providing practical tools for all stages of the value chain intervention. The training will refer to the Gender in Value Chain Toolkit produced and published by AgriProFocus. The toolkit is closely linked with other publications that resulted from collaboration within the AgriProFocus Gender in Value Chain Network.

Hence, this 5-day interactive training is specifically designed to provide efficient and practical knowledge for participants. Using the latest techniques, the participants will broaden their horizon in Gender in Agricultural Value Chain field and learn how to apply contemporary practical tools.

Registration Information:

Training venue: Bishoftu, Ethiopia
Total training Days: 5
Expected start Date: September 16th 2019
Training Fee: 600 Euro (including training materials, full accommodation, certificates)
Training Dates: 16th to 20th September 2019
Registration Closes on: 30th July 2019

To learn more on the content of the training, methodology and other details, please visit:. https://agriprofocus.com/gender-in-value-chains

To register for the training, use the following online link:

http://tiny.cc/uafe8y

For more information on specific issue: Hibiete Tesfaye, Senior Gender Consultant, Fair & Sustainable Ethiopia, Hibiete.Tesfaye@fs-ethiopia.com

Limited Seats! First come, first served.

 

Contract Farming, concept and practices in Ethiopia

This publication from 2017 will provide you with insight on the Concept and Practice of Contract Farming in Ethiopia.

The objective of the publication is bring forward eight contract farming case studies made in Ethiopia on different agricultural value chains malt barely, chickpea, seed potatoes, sesame, bamboo, green beans, passion fruit, and sugar cane.

F&S Ethiopia contributed four cases on malt barley, bamboo, passion fruit and sugarcane. In collaboration with organizations and programs, such as LANDac, Change (C4C), SNV, Agriterra, and Ethiopia Netherlands Trade for Agricultural Growth programme of Wageningen UR (ENTAG), F&S produced a publication entitled “Contract Farming in Ethiopia: Concept and Practice”. Beside case contribution, F&S has engaged in fund mobilization and stakeholder’s involvement. The publication of the book was followed by a public event – panel discussion – participating relevant government officials and experts.

As a result of this assignment, F&S and its partners has contributed a significant input to policies relating to contract farming and rural development, particularly in providing applicable frameworks of contract farming and challenges in existing trends.

On behalf of all the partners, please find the online version of the book, which was printed in limitted copies, HERE.

Agricultural Innovators in Ethiopia – a publication from 2016

This is a publication done in 2016 entitled “Agricultural Innovators in Ethiopia: Lessons from the Food Security and Rural Entrepreneirship Innovation Fund”

As a secretariate of AgriProFocus Ethiopia, F&S has been involving in the FSRE Fund program, financed by Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Addis and managed by ICCO Cooperation. Our involvement was mainly in the linking and learning component of the program which focuses in building the capacity of agricultural innovators and creating linkages among topics and value chains.

At the end of the program, by the end of 2016, we published the book mentioned above, depicting the main narratives of the program as well as informative stories of innovators.

The book can be downloaded HERE.