Agri-ProFocus is a network of professionals. A network operates in a fluid and dynamic manner. Professionals that make up the network decide to cooperate in one of our Agri-Hubs or in one of several innovation communities. The Agri-Hubs are local networks set up in twelve African countries (Benin, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, RD Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia) and in Indonesia.
The Agri-ProFocus Agri-Hubs are multi-actor arenas in support of entrepreneurship. A constant flow of information and power to connect is at their heart. We build networks and facilitate cooperation with the use of various instruments. The Agri-Hubs started out of a need for more cooperation expressed by our partners. In each country, Agri-ProFocus kicked off the process by organising a multi-stakeholder workshop to which all local counterparts of our partners, companies, government and farmer representatives were invited. During these workshops, the agenda for us as a network was set and hot issues were identified. Around the hot issues, action groups have been formed, led by local organisations.
The innovation communities are coached by our local Agri-Hub coordinators during the year. The Agri-Hub coordinators work hand in hand with the network facilitators of our support team in the Netherlands.
Our long-term vision is that the Agri-Hubs become effective one-stop shops for all to find their specific interests in doing business. The Agri-ProFocus team can be called upon to assist in brokering deals, actors can meet face-to-face in events and the online platforms provide a place for meeting and discussion on a daily basis.
The Agri-ProFocus method consists of sharing knowledge and co-creation. Our results, which we call ‘market triggers’, are effectively aimed at improving the support system for farmer entrepreneurship. Those improvements we call the ‘market uptake’, in other words; “How is the market of stakeholders responding?” and “Have the results of the network actually been put to good use?” This can be measured in terms of business deals, innovation and policy changes. Further down the line, the improved support system should contribute to strong farmer entrepreneurs who are able to make better informed choices for farming as a business.