AgroBIG Cluster Platforms enhance coordination among stakeholders

AgroBIG has established two Cluster Platforms to serve stakeholders within the Programme area. The Platforms aim to bring together all value chain actors, supporters and enablers to discuss common agendas related to the value chains that AgroBIG supports, and to ensure that all value chain actors’ capacities, contributions and needs are considered in Programme implementation.

During interactive group discussions and plenary sessions, participants reflected and exchanged ideas on issues related to private sector development, employment of youth, effective use of AgroBIG grant and loan funds and capacity building of value chain actors.

The first Cluster Platform meetings were held in April 2018, and succeeded in improving knowledge and information sharing among value chain stakeholders. Public-private dialogue was also stimulated to address bottlenecks related to the establishment and management of agribusinesses in the Programme area.

Some recommendations and concerns voiced by participants related to creating an enabling environment for the private sector, priority capacity building needs, access to finance and financial management, and job creation. Suggestions included training farmers and experts on commodity based good agronomic practices, strengthening market linkages and market information, ensuring clear understanding on how to go about grant and loan fund operation and offering follow-up and support to youth and women groups.

The Ribb-Gumara Cluster Platform converged on 5th April in Bahir Dar, and was attended by 66 participants, of which 16% were women. The meeting and discussion were facilitated by the head of the South Gondar district office for Trade, Industry and Market Development, Mr Destaw Biweta.

The Gilgay-Abay Cluster Platform meeting took place on 18th April, in Dangila in North Mecha district. Overall 75 participants, of which 17% women attended. The meeting was chaired by Mr Semeneh Ayalew, the deputy administrator for West Gojam Zone.

Participants were drawn from across the board: private sector actors – farmers, wholesalers, processors, private producers and suppliers including cooperatives and unions operating in the cluster area – public sector actors, irrigation cooperatives, CoSACUs, research and educational institutes, and partner projects.