Agrofood Broker of the Year 2017: Addis Teshome (IFDC)
Out of 17 nominees, three final candidates were selected for the Agrofood Broker of the Year 2017 Award. More than 2000 people voted through an online poll at the F&BKP website. After two rounds, Addis Teshome (IFDC) came forward as the winner. The award was distributed by Melle Leenstra, member of the jury, during the conference “Research & policy: two peas in a pod? A dialogue for food security impact”.
Richard Hawkins (ICRA) who works with Addis Teshome in a 2SCALE project in Ethiopia, received the price on Addis’ behalf and called the winner a real “partnership broker”. He said Addis brings people from different sectors together and really builds agricultural knowledge partnerships. In a reaction, Addis mentioned that he was humbled by receiving the prize and that he actually felt that the award was an appreciation for the work done by the whole 2SCALE team and the approach developed by them.
Who is Addis Teshome?
“Addis has been extremely instrumental in building the 2SCALE portfolio of agribusiness PPPs in Ethiopia, by bringing key actors together to discuss how to move the development of critical value chains forward. Under difficult circumstances, Addis has forged partnerships through inventive collaborative agreements.”
Addis Teshome joined IFDC in 2013 as the National Cluster Advisor for the 2SCALE project in Ethiopia. The portfolio of public-private partnerships in Ethiopia was developed under his leadership. He employed innovative ways to encourage the participation of women in farmer groups, clusters, and SMEs.
He feels that knowledge brokering “helps in securing continuity of development progress by reducing the occurrences for reinvention the wheel and duplicated efforts”. He believes in empowering people and helping them make positive and recognizable contributions in their work. According to him, the starting point to ensure more people attain knowledge brokering skills, is to ensure “people understand and believe in the importance of knowledge sharing not merely as an end by itself, but as a catalyst for change and development. It is important to help people see the effect of knowledge brokering in developing new programs, projects and advancing towards desired results.”
Addis will set up a knowledge brokering activity in the coming months together with the Food & Business Knowledge Platform. In 2018, he will join the jury to elect the next Agrofood Broker of the Year.
The other two finalists, Momo Kochen from MDPI, and Norbert van der Straaten from Holland Greentech, also presented themselves in a video. Please find the videos of Addis, Momo and Norbert below.
Honorable mention: Geert Westenbrink
The jury also acknowledged the inspirational knowledge brokering work of one of the 17 nominees, Geert Westenbrink, with an honourable mention. Geert Westenbrink works at the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality since the late-nineties. He has developed and managed agricultural sector development support programmes and co-innovation programmes for sustainable chain development and food security.