The Sesame Business Network in North West Ethiopia

CDI is the coordinating organisation of the support programme to the Sesame Business Network (SBN) in North West Ethiopia. The SBN is a network owned and maintained by the stakeholders of the sesame agribusiness sector in NW Ethiopia themselves.

Sesame is an important agribusiness sector in Ethiopia

A priority crop in the Agricultural Growth Programme (AGP), the sector has a significant annual turnover of greater than 300 million USD. More importantly, the sesame agribusiness sector has significant potential for further growth and development in terms of production and yield improvement, reduction of post-harvest losses, domestic value addition and in marketing, higher market access and net turnover. The largest part of the Ethiopia sesame production and export originates from the Humera and Metema production zones in the north western part of the country, especially in six AGP focal woredas, namely: Humera, Tsegede and Wolkayit woredas in Tigray Region and Metema, Quara and Tach Armachiho woredas in Amhara Region.

An innovation network owned by the stakeholders themselves

The Sesame Business Network (SBN) is a (largely informal) innovation network that is driven by local entrepreneurs and other stakeholders, who work together with the aim to move forward in their respective sesame related business ventures. Local Sesame Business Clusters (SBC) are the building blocks of the SBN. Participation in the SBCs and within the SBN is voluntary. Members of the SBN set the agenda and steer activities. Improved performance and benefits are the motivation for stakeholder participation.

Supported by an external competence based team and funding programme

The Kingdom of the Netherlands funds a support programme that aims to accompany the sesame sector stakeholders in achieving their objectives. The objectives of the support programme are set by the socio-economic targets of members of the SBN. Research, extension training and facilitation services are supportive to SBN member initiatives, which in turn are linked to clear socio-economic objectives of the participating stakeholders. Capacity and innovation development, in combination with knowledge sharing and learning, support the effective development and uptake of innovations to address identified challenges. The proposed support services are : (i) support to local sesame business clusters; (ii) innovation development and testing; (iii) knowledge and innovation brokering and (iv) planning, monitoring and evaluation for learning.

Contact us if you are interested in participating

The SBN is launched in 2013. Its support programme will be operational up until December 2015. The programme is facilitated by two teams of coaches (based in Humera and Metema) and a team of facilitators (based in Gondar). A list of key contact persons is provided below.

Key contact persons
Geremew Terefe SBN support programme coordinator
Abrham Abiyu Director - Gondar Agricultural Research Centre
Ted Schrader General coordinator - CDI
Gareth Borman Assistant general coordinator - CDI
Judith Jacobs Assistant general coordinator - CDI