Agribusiness is my learning journey – The 1st Master Trainer Network Conference to further promote successful agribusiness training

Events & Cooperation, Trainings

Johannesburg, South Africa, 11th of September 2023. The Business Support Facility for Resilient Agricultural Value Chains (ABF4VC) kicked-off the first Master Trainer Network Conference titled “Agribusiness is my learning journey”. The Conference is hosted by the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD. The experts for successful agribusiness training approaches such as the Farmer Business School (FBS) come together for exchanges, updates, and strengthening an already strong network to further boost African agricultural sectors.

FBS is a successful agribusiness training strengthening smallholders’ management skills and business attitude for better and diversified incomes and nutrition. Already more than 1.7 million smallholders from 25 African countries became businesswomen and men due to the FBS. Behind the success of the approach stands a strong network of Master Trainers who frequently train new trainers for FBS, cooperative management (CBS) and processing of products (PBS). For this first Master Trainer Network Conference taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa from 11 - 19 September 2023, 60 Master Trainers from 17 countries came to South Africa to participate and more than 40 additional Master Trainers are joining online. The diverse Conference programme started off with the certification ceremony for new Master Trainers and the honouring of well-experienced Master Trainers. The certificates were handed over by a representative of the German embassy in South Africa. The conference continues with several interactive plenary sessions, simulations, and group works.

Representatives of the European Union (EU), the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), and AUDA-NEPAD emphasised in their opening words that the members of the Conference with highly diversified experiences will develop strategies for the sustainable creation of jobs for women and youth and to strengthen the public-private dialogue to overcome bottlenecks in the value chains.

The Conference aims at updating all Master Trainers regarding innovations in the various training approaches and especially on topics like climate-smart agribusiness, information, and communication technology (ICT), gender transformative approaches, and inclusion. It will also refresh their knowledge on training contents, methodology, and andragogy principles. Jointly the Master Trainers will build the basis for founding an international Agribusiness Trainer Association to ensure the sustainable continuation and anchoring of the approaches in a self-governed manner. This Conference also includes updating and preparing the Master Trainers for promoting the upcoming funding opportunity within the framework of a competitive Matching Grant Fund for the cocoa, maize, and livestock (cattle, sheep, and goats) value chains in OACPS member states.

Since March 2023, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implements the project ABF4VC through ABF and MOVE/ComCashew. The project is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and co-funded by the EU Directorate-General for International Partnerships (INTPA) and OACPS with an overall budget of 56 million euros.

Speech by ABF's head of project Handing over certificates Market place interaction and exchange

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