The Digital Agriculture and Innovation Hubs (DAIH) in Ethiopia roars to action
The FMM DAIH hold a planning workshop in Adama, Ethiopia
23 September 2022. Stakeholders in Ethiopia met to discuss the digital agriculture maturity in the country, and affirmed to work together to improve innovation and digital transformation of the agricultural sector.
The affirmation was resolved at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s FMM workshop on Business Model, Partners Responsibility Mapping and Finalization of Work Plan to Establish the Digital Agriculture and Innovation Hubs (DAIH) held on the 22 and 23 September 2022 in Adama, Ethiopia.
In his opening remarks, the State Minister of Agriculture, represented by Mr. Abera Mulat - Advisor to the State Minister reinforced the commitment of the government in the project and called for it to be aligned closely to the country’s priorities in digital agriculture, such as the Digital Ethiopia 2025 and the DAEAS Roadmap.
“This meeting is important to support the Ministry to capture all best practices in digital agriculture for the benefit of all our farmers in the country”, he added.
The planning workshop saw a total of 23 participants representing 15 partners representing the Government of Ethiopia, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, development partners, farmer organizations, and FAO, attended the two-day workshop.
The workshop allowed partners to reflect and experiences from existing digitalization initiatives in the agriculture sector, highlighted the need for a stakeholder coordination mechanism, and offered the stakeholder to map their contribution to the project.
First day of the workshop
The first day of the programme saw presentations of the digital initiatives by the Extension Directorate Mrs. Yenenesh Egu enumerating various digital agriculture initiatives and included the DAEAS flagship Program presentation.
The keynote presentation was the presentation Mr. Gemechis Melkamu of the Ministry of Health’s The Digital Platform, 8335, a digital platform that provides public health emergency-related information. Participants took a keen interest on the architecture, content and processes of this platform.
The workshop further delved into the core aspect of the Digital Agriculture and Innovation Hubs (DAIH) in Ethiopia by providing the global overview of the project which was delivered by Mr. Thembani Malapela from the FAO Office of Innovation.
He highlighted that the Ethiopia hub was part of the “Global Network of Digital Agriculture Innovation Hubs” a broader FMM global programme also being implemented in Dominica, Grenada and Morocco. While countries have different circumstances, Mr. Malapela urged the stakeholders to work together to make Ethiopia hub a pace leader in the network.
After the review of the current work plan, the participants held a discussion on the overview of the DAIH Ethiopia project. The house then broke-up into three camps as participants discussed the business model for project.
The second day of the project
The second day started with the three teams presenting the 3 possible business models. The three presentations provided each a core aspect of the Digital Agriculture and Innovation Hubs in Ethiopia. The participants further formed a governing structure for the DAIH in Ethiopia modelled along the DAEAS Forum – with participation and representation of the private sector.
The day proceeded with an Ethiopian Agriculture Institute (ATI) facilitated session on the status of digital maturity in Ethiopia. The session allowed partners to review the mapping and allow their contributions to various aspects of the project.
Dr. Getu Shikur, Senior Manager at Precision Development presented the innovation challenge, innovation incubator and business development. The participants welcomed the presentation and felt that the innovation challenge should be implemented.
At the end of the workshop, the participants proposed further follow-ups within the working groups and mailing list to continue on the momentum of the workshop. The partners are keen to work together to implement the next six months activities which include capacity development, innovation activities and contribution to the core-team within the DEAES Roadmap.
Speaking on behalf of the FAO Representative, international agribusiness specialist Pie Njinginya thanked the participants for their attendance, contribution and dedication to support the implementation of the Digital Agriculture and Innovation Hubs (DAIH) in Ethiopia.