somalia:New Initiative Enables Somali Farmers to Produce Food Assistance

06 March 2014, Mogadishu – For the first time, Somali farmers are turning themselves
into suppliers of high-quality food assistance for their fellow Somali people.
A new initiative backed by the European Union, the government of Austria and two
United Nations food security agencies has helped Somali farmers achieve this major
agriculturalbreakthrough in a region of the country that was gripped by famine less
than three years ago.

The Austrian embassy in Nairobi, which also covers Somalia, said that Austria, as
one of the partners and sponsors of this project, was delighted that this valuable
initiative had been such a success. It further added that it was another example
that people in need, given the necessary assistance and possibilities, are able to
helpthemselves and thus make a difference to their lives.

For over 12 months, experts from FAO and WFP supported by the EU have worked with
dozens of farmers in several communities to train them in post-harvest handling,
storage and warehouse management in order to increase the quality of their
production and limit losses by keeping the grain free of contamination and pests.
Farmers also learned how to grade their grain. These new skills are aimed at
increasing the quality of their produce.

Now they are able to produce maize that meets international quality standards in
sufficient quantities to sell it to WFP, which will use the locally grown grain in
its food assistance programmes for the most vulnerable and food-insecure Somalis.

The EU is engaged in Somalia through a wide range of assistance measures that
include development programmes, active diplomacy, EU staffed missions and operations
in support of rule of law and security, andhumanitarian assistance.

FAO leads international efforts to defeat hunger. It helps countries to modernize
and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition
for all. FAO focuses special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent
of the world’s poor and hungry people.

Follow us on Twitter @SomaliaEU and @faoinsomalia and @WFP_Africa

For more information please contact:
Magali Uytterhaeghe, EU Mission