Eleven Finnish journalists visited AgroBIG supported farmers and entrepreneurs in February. Their visit was part of the annual ‘Development Academy’ organized by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.
The purpose of the Development Academy is to familiarize Finnish journalists, who represent various Finnish media outlets, with Finland’s development policy and development cooperation. Every year the program includes a visit to one of Finland’s important partner countries, and this year it was Ethiopia.
During a three-day field trip to Amhara region from the 10th to 12th February,the journalists were introduced to four development cooperation projects between Ethiopia and Finland: support to agriculture value chains (AgroBIG), to land administration (REILA), to water and sanitation (CoWASH) and to basic education (GEQIP).
The programme included visits to the field to learn about the results of the projects and meet and talk with stakeholders and beneficiaries – gaining important insights into real issues on the ground. On their tour to North Mecha district, the journalists visited the Koga irrigation area to witness different AgroBIG supported initiatives such as the Farmer Field Schools, a contract farming scheme for exporting fresh vegetables to EU markets, and the successful agribusinesses of women and youth entrepreneurs benefitting from AgroBIG loan finance.
The visit continued in Addis Ababa, where journalists met with representatives of the Ethiopian government and various organizations. The journalists learned about recent developments in Ethiopia including political and economic reforms, and issues like climate change, migration, peace and security and humanitarian assistance.