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Vote for the Agrofood Broker of the Year 2019!

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Agrofood Broker of the Year 2019 - Finalists
January 20, 2020 By: F&BKP Office Image: F&BKP Office
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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

“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.

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45 Contributions to “Vote for the Agrofood Broker of the Year 2019!”

  1. kidane
    National VC development specialist, FAO
    Ethiopia
    Anteneh

    I know this man since 2016 with his best leadership and communication for visibility of the project. He is innovative. So i believe he deserves for this reward.

    Reply
  2. Abebaw Yirga
    Director at Addis Ababa University
    Ethiopia

    I know Anteneh is a very dedicated and hardworking person. This award will be just a beginning of many more achievements.

    Reply
  3. Mengistu Ebabey
    graduate assistant I
    Ethiopia
    Anteneh Mekuria Tesfaye

    Anteneh Mekuria Tesfaye is a person who has enough experience than others

    Reply
  4. Mengistu A. Messele
    SG Edmonton Lt
    Canada
    Employmyee

    Anteneh Mekuria deserves for what he has done so far .

    Reply
  5. Hailu Workeneh
    Education Specialist
    Ethiopia
    Education in Emergencies

    I am glad to see Anteneh Mekuria in the finalist!. I have learned from his portfolio how he has applies his communication, drive for result and working with other people skills to help communities to improve their resilience.

    Reply
  6. Molla tegegne
    team Leader
    ethiopia

    Am a beneficiary of the news letter prepared by benifit it is very interesting to improve the food and nutrition status of the people in Ethiopia and the world

    Reply
  7. Bizu Tesafa
    General Manager
    Ethiopia
    Anteneh

    Anetene . He is energetic to find and transfer knowledge.

    Reply
  8. Desawi Hdru Teklu
    Agricultural transformation agency of Ethiopia
    Ethiopia
    PhD Graduate Student at University of KwaZulu-Natal

    “Anteneh makes the latest research findings accessible and understandable for 100,000 smallholder farmers to transform the sesame sector in the two major sesame producing regions of the North western part of the country. He supports the development of attractive guides, booklets and videos that communicate about nutritious recipes.

    Reply
  9. BERHANU SEBOKA
    senior Agronomist
    Ethiopia
    Agronomist

    I am glad about seeing Nobert in the finalist! He is doing such an amazing and noble work across Africa. More to specific to East Africa his knowledge brokerage has greatly influenced the direction of vegetable growing and the level of farmers to the next level. His work has influenced a lot of young farmers like me to the next level. Focusing making vegetable farming profitable. Cheerios to Holland Green Tech

    Reply
  10. LALEYE Romaric
    Research assistant
    Benin
    Research assistant

    Fréjus THOTO est un leader né. J’ai eu la chance de le côtoyer et de travailler avec lui. C’est un monsieur qui contribue énormément au développement de son Pays. Pour moi, il mérite de remporter ce concours.

    Reply
  11. MEDESSE FERDINAND HOUNKPONOU
    Assistant Technique
    Bénin
    Un impact pour sa génération

    Un bon leader qui de part son sens aigu de responsabilité ,connecte les liens pour faire aboutir des projets innovants dans le domaine de l’agriculture et de la sécurité alimentaire au Bénin.

    Reply
  12. Yonas M Getahun
    Professor of Mathematics
    United States

    He is hard worker, dedicated and passionate to his job!

    Reply
  13. GashAwtena.A
    Ministry of Agriculture
    Ethiopian
    Senior plant protection expert and transboundary pest control team leader

    Anteneh has given all his passion and energy to advance the competitiveness of the sesame sector!

    Reply
  14. Almaz Giziew
    Associate proffesor(PhD), Researcher, and manager of BENEFIT-REALISE BDU cluster
    Ethiopia
    Technology transfer, University-industry linkage and outreach

    Anteneh Mekuria is energetic, young and he made a difference in seasame network business.

    Reply
  15. Tewodros Tesfaye
    ASSOCIATE RESEARCHER/ CURRENTLY A PhD CANDIDATE IN APPLIED GENETICS ,GONDAR AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH CENTER/ STUDENT AT ADDIS ABABA UNIVERSITY
    Ethiopia
    PARTNER/ RRESEARCHER

    I AM GLAND TO SEE ANTENH MEKURIA TESFAYE IN THE FINAL LIST, BENEFIT SBN IS ONE OF THE WELL KNOW /EFFECTIVE PROJECT WHAT I HAD EVER FACE AS A PARTNER WITH GARC AS WELL AS OUR INSTITUTE ARARI AND FOR THIS ANTENH MEKURIA TESFAYE IS THE BACK BONE FOR THE NEW AND EFFECTIVE APPROACH OF THE PROJECT THROUGH OUT NORTH WEST ETHIOPIAN SESAME FARMERS, INVESTORS AND THE WHOLE SESAME BUSINESS NET WORK MEMBERS.

    Reply
  16. Priscille Goussanou
    Communication officer
    Benin
    My vote for Fréjus Thoto

    Frejus Thoto is a good leader that always promotes learning and agricultural knowledge sharing. It’s great to work with you

    Reply
  17. Abebe Tsegaw
    Quality unit head at Boru Meda hospital
    Ethiopia
    Mr

    He is my earlier brilliant teacher.

    Reply
  18. kilo
    Hydrogeologist
    UG
    Vote Norbert

    If you have not yet cast your vote, don’t think twice.
    Vote Norbert

    Reply
  19. Akakpo Alexis
    PhD student in Climate Change and Human Habitat, FUT Minna, Nigeria
    Benin
    Reseacher

    Fréjus, Thoto is a powerful food security actionsmaker over the world and particularly in Benin. I show him my full support.

    Reply
  20. Amanuel Belay Mekonnen
    United Beverages
    Ethiopia

    Anteneh Mekuria’s expertise and experience, above all dedication to field deem him the most eligible of the candidates.

    Reply
  21. Kenaw Gebreselassie
    Communication Manager
    Ethiopia
    Sharing knowledge and good experience is what matters a lot in rural Ethiopia

    Those who share knowledge and good experience in away understandable to target audience makes a difference in rural Ethiopia where agriculture is a predominant business. Glad to see Anteneh Mekuria, who is an excellent communicator and knowledge broker supporting farmers in rural Ethiopia, among the finalists.

    Reply
  22. Josias
    Agronomist
    Benin
    Soutien à Frejus, ACED

    Tu as tout mon soutien. Merci au Team de ACED et pour ta contribution à la valorisation des connaissances.
    Force à Vous.

    Reply
  23. Erneste NSABIMANA
    Agronomist
    Rwanda
    voting Agrofood broker of the Year 2019

    Voting Norbert as Agrofood broker will facilitate the youth to be a ware ofHorticulture

    Reply
  24. Zergibachew Taye
    Sen. Admin Officer
    Ethiopia
    Sen. Admin Officer

    All administrative, procurement and logistics support to BENEFIT Partnership

    Reply
  25. Getachew Demie Gebre
    Hawassa University Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resources
    Ethiopia
    Senior lecturer and Researcher

    On top of teaching and learning, I have been doing a research on soil resource pollution and its impact on the quality of agricultural crops. I’m really glad to see Anteneh Mekuria in the finalist. He has been doing a wonderful job on inter and intracommunications related to sesam value chain and business that help the smallholder farmers of Ethiopia.

    Reply
  26. Zergibachew Taye
    Sen. Admin Officer
    Ethiopia
    Administrative

    Support the office in-terms of administrative, logistics and procurement area

    Reply
  27. Ted Schrader
    Advisor, Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation
    Netherlands

    Anteneh has made a difference for more than 100,000 farmers!

    Reply
    • yetwale
      Expert
      Ethiopia
      To give vote

      Voting Anteneh Mekuria Agrofood broker will facilitate the young people be aware holticulture

      Reply
  28. ASSEGID GEDAMU
    General Manager
    Ethiopia
    Anteneh

    Anteneh has given all his passion and energy to advance the competitiveness of the sesame sector!

    Reply
  29. Jean REMY MURAMIRA
    Business Advisor
    Rwanda
    Norbert

    Norbert (Holland Green Tech ) has been doing a lot in Agricultural sector in Rwanda such as making available irrigation systems to farmers and providing a service of soil analysis.

    Reply
    • Anemut Belete
      Senior Economist
      Ethiopia
      Training in Farmers Financial Literacy ToT program, Training in Business planning and Entrepreneurship for self help enterprises, delivery of input Financing for Small holder farmers and refining questionnaire of Nutrition survey for scale upping

      I am a member of Benefit-SBN staff and working together with Anteneh in different pieces of training for knowledge brokering. We train together SHFs and entrepreneurs to widen the knowledge and skill of farmers and women in the field of nutrition. We trained many tots to train farmers as knowledge brokering and as a result, there is much success in nutrition diversification through home gardening. Moreover, on top of nutrition diversification, we learn that many HHHs are boosting their household income and becoming resillent to different manmade and natiral risks.

      Reply
  30. Freddy PADONOU
    Act for Development
    Bénin
    Tous derrière M. Fréjus THOTO

    A travers son organisation ACED, Fréjus contribue depuis plus d’une décennie à l’amélioration des conditions de vie des populations vulnérables. Grâce à ACED, notre organisation intervient en ce moment auprès d’une population cible du sud-Benin pour contribuer à la conservation de la biodiversité.
    Voyons Fréjus pour davantage l’encourager son équipe et lui dans leur dynamique.

    Reply
  31. William macharia
    General Manager
    Rwanda
    Reaching out to small holder farmers in rural rwanda

    Mr Norbert, through his thoughtful acknowledgment of the importance of reaching out to the most vulnerable rural farmers, he advocates that HGT regional and Districts Agronomists should most of their time, spend the time with farmers, sharing knowledge, experiences on New but locally adaptable farming methods. To me this is a very important knowledge brokerage ! That’s why I’m voting for Norbert.

    Reply
  32. Moïse Sodjinou
    CASAD
    Benin
    researcher

    Frejus Thoto travail beaucoup pour me rayonnement de l’agriculture familiale au Bénin. Ce concours est pour lui.

    Reply
  33. Joseph Male
    CEO, AVAIL GROUP LTD
    Uganda
    CEO

    I am glad about seeing Nobert in the finalist! He is doing such an amazing and noble work across Africa. More to specific to East Africa his knowledge brokerage has greatly influenced the direction of vegetable growing and the level of farmers to the next level. His work has influenced a lot of young farmers like me to the next level. Focusing making vegetable farming profitable. Cheerios to Holland Green Tech

    Reply
    • Ben Kpanou
      Researcher
      Benin

      Frejus Thoto œuvre beaucoup pour la génération et la valorisation des connaissances au Bénin. Il mérite de gagner ce concours.

      Reply

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