Ethiopia Local Network hosts BDS Workshop

On 22 March 2022, the AMEA Ethiopia Local Network organized a day for members and partners, including a workshop to develop a strategy for improving business development services (BDS) for farmer organizations (FOs). Participants included AMEA members and partners, as well as a number of private BDS providers. AMEA’s global Network Director and Program Officer were also in attendance.

The event focused on two core areas of AMEA’s work:


  1. Exploring the use of AMEA tools for a standardized approach to
    assessment, training and coaching of FOs
  2. Developing a strategy to help FOs receive effective and affordable BDS.

The workshop highlighted how the AMEA approach is put into practice by AMEA members. SCOPEinsight’s assessment tools and IFC’s Agribusiness Leadership Program (ALP) training and coaching curricula were presented to the group. Participants reflected on their key takeaways from the presentations, and how they might incorporate the lessons learned into their own initiatives.

Nuru Ethiopia then shared their experiences of using the tools in Gamo Gofa zone in SNNP region, where they are intensively supporting 31 primary cooperatives and one cooperative union. Nuru’s wholistic approach and embedding the tools within the FOs has made them successful in increasing the assessment scores of their FOs, with Hidota Union serving as a prime example of a flourishing union that is serving the community.

A case study on a project implemented by A Glimmer of Hope and Self Help Africa to adapt the tools to assess and train rural savings and credit cooperatives (RUSACCOs) was also shared. The tools have been implemented in Libo Kemkem (Amhara) and Oda Bultum (Oromia) woredas (districts), and the lessons learned to date have been incorporated into a new initiative in Debub Sodo (SNNP region).

Additionally, the group reviewed the key findings of a landscape study on BDS for FOs, which identified the major challenges and
opportunities in the sector, and made recommendations for BDS provision by private, public, and NGO actors. There was general agreement that a BDS standard must be developed and a BDS association established to take the effort forward. The Local Network will spearhead these activities in the coming months.


Interested in joining the AMEA Local Network in Ethiopia as a local partner? Contact us!