Dirk and entrepeneur

ILRI mourns the passing of Dirk Hoekstra

Former ILRI staff Dirk Hoekstra passed away peacefully in the presence of his family on Sunday 7 January 2024. He was 75 years old.

Dirk worked ILRI from 2004 – 2016 primarily on two large research for development projects in Ethiopia. He joined ILRI to guide it through one of its first market-based approach projects ‘Improving productivity and market success of Ethiopian farmers’ (IPMS) which focused on strengthening extension capacity in Ethiopia. He then supported the 'Livestock and irrigation value chains for Ethiopian smallholders project' (LIVES) initially as project leader and then as a senior advisor. His management of both projects was exemplary and  built practical linkages between small-scale farmers and markets.

Dirk and Azege

He was an Agricultural Economist with an degree from Wageningen Agriculture University in 1973. During his professional career, Dirk worked for various organizations in numerous countries in agricultural development and research. Before joining ILRI in 2004, he worked at the International Center for Research on Agroforestry (ICRAF) on the ground breaking Diagnosis and Design methodology which helped to assess landscapes and identify the roles of trees in the landscape. He also worked as a project manager of a Dutch funded rural development project in South West Ethiopia, which initiated the sales of wild Kaffa forest coffee to Europe.

Staff who worked with him recall a thoughtful leader who focused on practical solutions and being inclusive.

If you’d like to share a tribute or memory that we can assemble and share with the family, please post on this kudoboard: . Please make sure you do this before Friday 19 January 2024.

There will be a ceremony on Saturday, January 13th at 11am CET and you can follow online