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A cotton contract farming model sensitization workshop was held on December 14th 2018 in Gebar Shire hotel, Shire in Tigray region. The workshop was attended by representatives from ETIDI, Federal Cooperative Agency, Bureau of Agriculture, Tigray Regional Cooperative Agency, Zonal Administration, Setit Humera Union, Dansha Union, Kafta Humera Cooperative, Hiwot Agricultural Mechanization, Agriterra and ATA. After the official opening of the regional sensitization workshop, Hiwot Agricultural Mechanization, Ethiopian Textile Industry Development Institute (ETIDI), Enterprise partners (EP), and Agriterra presented their experiences and relevant issues to contract farming as follow.

Three regions were proposed to implement contract farming and Tigray is the first to pledge the contract farming sensitization workshop. Evidence of the strong commitment of region to propel the cotton and textile industry as a vector for agriculture-led industrialization. Hiwot was selected as a private sector partner and a driver of the pilot contract farming to be partnered with smallholder and medium scale farmers (represented by their Primary Cooperatives and Farmers Association). Hiwot is chosen as a partner because it is an endowment fund with a special focus on community development. Moreover; Hiwot is expected to leverage its previous informal contract farming experience to successfully implement the envisaged pilot contract farming.

It was agreed that contract farming is a very complicated and highly sensitive initiative and little knowledge and previous experience are available locally. Therefore, attendees were in unanimous agreement to establish a Regional Steering Committee (RSC) that will be led and chaired by the Bureau of Agriculture and co-chaired by the Regional Cooperative Agency. Members will include the Regional Bureau of Trade, Tigray Agricultural Marketing Promotion Agency (TAMPA), Ethiopian Textile Development Institute (ETIDI), Enterprise Partners (EP) and invited relevant ad-hoc members on need bases.