Somalia needs to secure Agricultural sector Development Projects

Read Time:3 Minute, 33 Second Secretary General of the Somali Media for Environment, Science,
Health and Agriculture (SOMESHA) who is the only expert agric, science
and environ journalist in Somalia H.E. Mr. Daud Abdi Daud issued a
statement for Somalia agricultural sector strategy as he is currently
comeback to Mogadishu and calls Somalia Federal Government to lead the
national agricultural sector development projects from the regional
states and the global development agencies and tremendously surprised
Somalia absence of regional meetings.

Agriculture is an important economic sector in Somalia in terms of
generating income through crop sales and agricultural labor
opportunities.  With roughly 50% of population’s cereal requirements
are met through domestic production, Agriculture is a major component
particularly for two of the main rural livelihood systems in the Horn
of Africa country: Agro-pastoralist,  mix of agriculture and livestock
production based livelihood and Agriculturalist, agriculture based

Crop production performance and its potential is determined by the
bi-modal rainfall.  The two main agricultural seasons are: Gucrop
production,  from April to June and Deyr crop production is from
October to December.

Two areas are considered high potential for crop production with
rainfall ranging from 400mm to 600mm: a small area in the Northwest
(west of Hargeisa) and a much larger inter-riverine area between the
Shabelle and Juba river valleys.

SAID organized a two-day workshop to review the findings of an
assessment “South Central Somalia Private Sector Assessement” that was
recently carried out by Somali Agriculture Technical Group (SATG). The
assessment which was carried out under DAI/ Partnership for Economic
Growth Program was conducted to explore future interventions to
support economic growth in the region.

USAID works with government ministries and the private sector to
create and improve opportunities for investment and employment. The
program began in April 2011 in Somaliland, then expanded to Puntland
in mid-2012, and plans to expand to South-Central Somalia later this
year. DAI, SATG and Amoud University have been conducting agriculture
activities in the Adwal region since 2011. The participants’ issued
the below advice for the agricultural sector development.

Agriculture sector
1. Strengthening regulatory framework.
2. Developing agricultural financing pilot activities.
3. Capacity building for ministry of natural resources, lenders,
agribusiness dealers and possible clients
4. Develop the agro/food processing sector
5. Capacity building of the Agriculture input sector
6. Technology testing and transfer through demo plots and
7. Establish Websites – for local organizations and ministries (MNR,
Commerce), farmers to improve the communication system.

On the other hand, in early January 2013, Drs. Hussein Haji and Paul
Porter conducted a site visit of the five Farmer Field Schools (FFS)
established a year earlier under the guidance of CONCERN’s Mohamed
Mohamud Rirash. At each site they met with FFS farmers and surveyed
them on their agronomic practices. In addition, they took soils
samples for chemical and textural analysis. Each FFS site is
approximately 3 ha (15 qoodi) in size and involves 25 farmers. CONCERN
proposes eight additional sites in 2013.

Based on the site visit and further review of previous agricultural
intervention work conducted in the Gabiley region, SATG will submit a
detailed report on what was learned during the visit and on how to
expand the SATG-CONCERN collaboration, focusing on enhancing CONCERN’s
and the FFS farmers’ competencies relative to conservation agriculture
and appropriate crop production practices.

As the Food and Agriculture of the United Nations (FAO) is a
specialized technical agency that leads international efforts to
defeat hunger by working towards the alleviation of poverty and
strengthening of livelihoods and food security in Somalia SOMESHA
suggested a new reconstruction on Somalia’s National Agricultural
Investment Program in order to tackle climatic changes and food
insecurity in across Somalia and be part of Africa’s climate and food
insecurity talks.

As agriculture is critical for the Africa; Africa as a continent needs
to ensure that agriculture is included in the 2015 Agreement of the
UNFCCC in order to prioritize and have as an agenda item the
“consensus on a common national position on agriculture and climate
change” in preparation for engagement in the on-going UNFCCC
negotiations as well as the UN summit and the launch of the CSA
Alliance scheduled to be held in September 2014 in New York, USA.

Many thanks.
Rahmo Isack

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