Agrofood Broker of the Year 2019: Frejus Thoto (ACED Benin)
Frejus Thoto (Executive Director of ACED Benin) is the winner of the Agrofood Broker of the Year Award 2019! The jury selected him as one of the three finalists. More than 1800 people voted for their favourite agrofood broker through an online poll at the Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP) website. With almost 70% of the votes, Frejus is the well-deserved winner of this year.
This year things have turned out a bit differently than expected. The F&BKP had planned to honour the finalists and announce the winner during one of our events. However, due to the current Corona crisis, that is unfortunately not going to happen in the near future. We do hope to put a spotlight on all finalists and the winner at an event later this year. For now, we have composed a short video to honour Frejus. The winner will receive a cheque of €2,000.- to set up a knowledge brokering activity together with the F&BKP.
Who is Frejus Thoto?
“Frejus Thoto is a World Bank certified expert in knowledge management and has provided expertise on knowledge processes to several organizations. Such as coordinating the establishment of the ReGICA network that promotes learning and sharing of agricultural knowledge. He also served as a Knowledge Management Expert for a joint intervention of the African Development Bank and The African Capacity Building Foundation. Furthermore, he showcases his expertise in the form of keynote speeches in the field of knowledge generation and utilization to improve food and nutrition security”.
Frejus is the Executive Director of ‘Actions for Environmental and Sustainable Development’ (ACED) and is pursuing a PhD in Agricultural Entrepreneurship. “Frejus engages policy makers in the use of evidence in inland fishery in Benin. He coordinates policy research processes which are used to formulate new policies and implement resilience activities among inland fishers. To ensure effective uptake of knowledge, he supported the creation of a multi-stakeholder platform in which stakeholders such as the local governments and local fishing communities participate. Moreover, Frejus launched and coordinated the organisation of the Evidence Policy Action (EPA) Network. This forum brought over 200 people and organisations together, from both policy and practice, to exchange knowledge and define actions that can help reduce food insecurity and malnutrition in urban areas”.
Frejus is of the opinion that knowledge brokering is about “creating the linkages, processes and incentives for knowledge producers and users to proactively generate and translate knowledge into use. While facilitating this, brokers should ensure knowledge is relevant, accurate, timely, accessible, inclusively generated and shared, and can be quickly translated into action”. For his work, “knowledge brokering is critically important for the simple reason that all the challenges the world is facing in relation to food and nutrition security require joint solutions co-created by all stakeholders”. To stimulate knowledge brokering “the starting point would be to improve the culture of knowledge brokering and create incentives to do so in societies so that individuals and organizations mainstream it in their natural way of doing things”.