By : Hudayfe Osman Daror
Somaliland is on the brink of food insecurity due to various factors such as urbanization, outdated agricultural practices, dependency on food-import. Although the country has ample fertile land, local production is unable to meet the present demand. The country’s current dependency on food imports from neighbouring countries is further threatened by the fragile sociopolitical climate of the region as well as global warming. To ensure food security in the future, Somaliland will need to raise domestic-production to meet demand.
The underutilization of agricultural lands can be addressed by providing farmers and landowners with the resources necessary to maximize efficiency and production. This need can be met through a two-part solution: the strengthening of agricultural academic programs through partnerships and the formation of agricultural cooperation throughout Somaliland. Each agricultural academic program and regional co-op chapter would cooperate with the department of agriculture to provide resources and support to farming co-ops.
The benefits of the farming cooperative would be the supply of agricultural inputs, joint production, and agricultural marketing as well as benefiting from economies of scale. The most visible benefit of farming co-ops would be easier access to agricultural equipment.
Agricultural machinery is expensive and out of reach for typical operations. This forces many of them to rely on antiquated farming techniques which are labor, time-intensive, and produce small yields. Modern agricultural machinery allows for optimal land utilization, bigger yields, and increased profits.
Providing farmers with the opportunity to partake in agricultural machinery sharing program allows them to reap the benefits of expensive equipment while minimizing costs typically associated with them. Similar programs have proven to be effective in West African countries such as Burkina Faso.
Strengthening agricultural programs in Somali’s colleges and universities by forming relationships with academics and universities abroad to share and learn the latest advancements and techniques in conversationalist and drought farming. Without rivers or streams, Somaliland relies on seasonal rains and groundwater to sustain its agricultural and population needs. Due to its topography, the region is prone to periodic droughts which further threaten food security.
Current environmental studies show that the impact of climate change due to global warming will be greatly felt throughout the horn of Africa. That it will have a disastrous effect on the livelihood, food, water, and ecosystems of Somaliland. We can mitigate this by taking action instead of waiting for inevitable.
Teaching drought and conservation farming techniques in agricultural academic programs equip current university students with relevant agricultural knowledge better utilize land with available resources. Introducing and implementing these techniques to farmers allows them the chance to maintain and profit from the way of life.
The two-part solution would allow the implementation of relevant research and knowledge to combat food scarcity and secure against the detrimental effects of climate change. By allowing t utilization of agricultural extension, allowing the application of scientific-research hand new knowledge to agricultural practice It would require the cooperation of the agricultural department of the government, local universities and IFAD. This would be a long-term and sustainable solution towards addressing food scarcity in Somaliland.
About the Author
Hudeyfe is an Economist, graduates from International Islamic University Chittagong.