A half day interactive workshop was held on October 24, 2019 at Magnolia Hotel, Addis Ababa with the intention of strengthening the potential of the Horticulture sector, create a network within key stakeholders and to create opportunities for agri-enterpreneurs specifically youth, women and Small and Medium Enterprises. The workshop also aimed to create a specific country level learning loops and identify the key challenges of the sector.
A Horticulture Mapping Study on valuable vegetables validation has been also presented by a consultant on the day which was commissioned by Agri Pro Focus. A number of challenges and recommendations were presented and discussed in depth with the participants for further enrichment of the study paper. Among the challenges deliberated, lack of small holder farmer/ out grower scheme management such as improve support on availability and quality of inputs, extension service, lack of linkage with micro finance and poor market linkage and poor post-harvest technology available for the small holder farmers, lack of proper system and incentive to input suppliers, less incentives for linkage with commercial farms and lack of effective partnership with development organizations were among the major challenges deliberated.
Accordingly, recommendations have been made that the sector needs specific policy and strategy support, Proper input supply system, extension service and gender inclusion, linkage with education and research and creating effective partnership and planning are among the recommendation made in the event.
Presentation on the results of a research done on pineapple production as an innovation for the horticulture sector. Research paper presented by a researcher and lecturer from Mizan Teferi Agriculture College which aimed to introduce new and better variety of pineapple; Smooth Canyenne for the market. Youth in Horticulture presented inclusive school gardening project which is a creative idea of the social entrepreneurs which was encompassed through Farm Secure Schools Africa (FSSA).
In conclusion, the participants of the workshop have identified major bottlenecks through a lively discussion and reflected a resolving mechanism on main challenges in the Horticulture sector of Ethiopia. Development of a strategy for learning activities on the mentioned challenges and topics were deliberated in length. As a way for ward, Agri pro focus will continue working on finalizing and producing a learning trajectory and it has been emphasized that collaboration of all key stakeholders in the sector is a vital in order to tackle the challenges.