Somalia needs to secure Agricultural sector Development Projects says Daud

daauudquruxThe 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 in 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 livelihood.

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.

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About somesha

Somali Media for Environment, Science Health and Agriculture (SOMESHA)
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