Vote for the Agrofood Broker of the Year 2019!
The Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP) will for the third year in a row award the price to a professional in the field of Food and Nutrition Security (FNS), who has undertaken significant brokering activities. The jury, consisting of members of the F&BKP network, has selected three finalists: Anteneh Mekuria Tesfaye; Frejus Thoto; and Norbert van der Straaten.
The online voting poll has been closed on February 9, 2020.
The jury will announce the winner and award the price in the course of 2020; more information will follow soon. Besides getting special appreciation for his/her work, the winner will receive a small financial contribution to conduct a knowledge activity with the F&BKP. Please find below more background information on the three finalists selected by the jury for their significant knowledge brokering skills in 2019:
Anteneh Mekuria Tesfaye
Anteneh Mekuria Tesfaye is “the driving force behind the communication and training efforts of the BENEFIT-Sesame Business Network (SBN) which is crucial for sector transformation. He has been instrumental to introduce bottom-up planning, interactive training methods, ICT tools for communication, and innovative tools for M&E, such as filming ‘most significant stories’. Moreover, he coordinates the collaboration with various programmes (BENEFIT partners, Agriterra, 2 SCALE), knowledge institutes (GARC, HUARC), governmental actors (policy makers, the Dutch Embassy), and institutions (BoA, CPA)”.
Anteneh is assistant manager at BENEFIT-SBN which is part of the Bilateral Ethiopian Netherlands Efforts for Food, Income and Trade (BENEFIT). “Anteneh makes the latest research findings accessible and understandable for e.g. smallholder producers. He supports the development of attractive guides, booklets and videos that communicate about nutritious recipes. He organizes meetings that bring a diverse group of stakeholders together in order to discuss issues relevant to improving food and nutrition security. He develops issue briefs for high-level decision makers with the aim to address structural challenges for sector transformation. Moreover, Anteneh puts a lot of effort in developing and institutionalizing innovations in the extension system, including the provision of training to trainers and the development of new extension services such as weather forecast information”.
According to Anteneh knowledge brokering is “identifying gaps, as well as capturing, synthesizing and tailoring results, evidences, experiences and knowledge, as well as communicating with audiences ranging from policy makers to that of practitioners in such a way that the recipients can easily understand, accept and act on it. It is facilitating and fostering linkage among different actors- knowledge creators, policy makers and practitioners. It involves a two way or multiple-way interaction and communication.” Knowledge brokering is important in his work to enable various actors to develop the sesame sub-agricultural sector. To ensure more people attain knowledge brokering skills, he states it is crucial to fill knowledge gaps by “bringing stakeholders together, sharing information, knowledge, experiences and building capacities of different actors using different approaches. Also, people should develop the skills of critical thinking, reasoning, knowledge management, team work, networking, facilitating, contextualizing, communication, etc.”
“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”.
Norbert van der Straaten
“Norbert van der Straaten uses knowledge brokering to create business opportunities and to manage risks. The company he founded employs young African experts to serve African farmers which creates knowledge sharing impact. The enthusiasm, positivism, and mentoring of Norbert to all team members within the company, radiates an open, inclusive and motivated company culture which is a condition for sharing of knowledge”.
Norbert is the founder of Holland Greentech which helps farmers to produce fresh vegetables for cities in East-Africa. “Norbert empowers young Africans by giving them a position to train and service horticultural farmers in Africa in for example fields of agronomy, soil, irrigation and greenhouse construction. Through the creation of Holland Greentech as a distributor for Dutch horticultural input and service provider, Norbert stimulates knowledge exchange between the Netherlands and Sub-Sahara Africa. Connecting and strengthening creates opportunities for the development of individual farmers and contributes to the development of a market based, commercial and sustainable horticultural sector in sub Saharan African countries”.
For Norbert, knowledge brokering means “creating the right conditions to facilitate learning”. Knowledge brokering is of importance in his work because: “To increase productivity and reduce costs of production, Holland Greentech supports farmers with knowledge. HGT guides innovations towards implementation in Africa. Agri-Entrepreneurs need expertise to use new technologies in the right way and become profitable. To ensure more people attain knowledge brokering skills “To serve our clients we need understanding of plants and technology. Furthermore communication skills are key and a good mix of man and woman. Young experts need guidance to develop cooperation skills. Teamwork can be practiced at high school, tvet’s and universities. And in the beginning of a career, a program like YEP is a good investment in knowledge brokering”.
Poll open until February 9, 2020
This poll has been closed.