Agro-BIG News

Finnish Minister for International Development Mrs. Sirpa Paatero and H.E. Ambassador Sirpa Mäenpää Visit Amhara National Regional State


On January 8- 9 2015 a high level visit took place in the Amhara National Regional State. Finland’s Minister for International Development, Mrs. Sirpa Paatero, accompanied with high-level officials such as H.E. Ambassador Sirpa Mäenpää visited the region to familiarize themselves with Finnish funded projects. The programme was coordinated by Agro-BIG and consisted of snapshots of the results achieved by bilateral and NGO projects in the region. The projects represented in the high level visit were Agro-BIG, Co-WASH, FinnWASH, ReILA and FFD/Agricord.

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Thursday’s programme entailed a dinner with invited guests, such as Ato Gedu Andargachew, the President of Amhara National Regional State and various regional bureau heads.           

Friday started with an exhibition at Avanti Blue Nile Hotel. The exhibition was a showcase of projects in the region.

Each project gave a short briefing on their activities. After that it was time for the field tour. Firstly the delegation saw a Co-WASH site in Meshenti. They had the chance to see an Ethiopian household which had gotten support from the programme. The living conditions of this household had improved due to improved water and sanitation facilities

The programme then continued with Agro-BIG. The delegation members familiarized themselves with Kudmi Onion Seed Cooperative. The cooperative has for the first time in Amhara managed to produce certified onion seed – a big agronomic breakthrough and something that will result in more money in farmers’ pockets as a quality product is produced to the markets. The programme continued with a visit to Ambo Mesk Primary School and a quick stop at Agro-BIG supported road side market shelters. A field lunch was then accompanied by Ethiopian cultural performers and a great deal of dancing.

In the afternoon the programme continued with a visit to an Agro-BIG supported youth group who have been trained to become service providers in agrochemical spraying. Furthermore, the delegation got to know FFD, a Finnish NGO, which facilitates and funds a pole marketing project in the region. The last stop for the day was REILA site, a project which focuses on land administration and land registration.

The visit was a great success and continues to strengthen the bilateral relations of governments of Ethiopia and Finland