farming in somaliland

By Goth Mohamed Goth

Hargeisa-ActionAid International which has being operating in the country for the past 21 years and which works in partnership with poor communities and local partners and in collaboration with Government, Inter-governmental agencies, development agencies and networks to eradicate poverty yesterday unveiled a development plans aimed at benefiting 14,000 people and which will be to be implemented in a period of 3 years in 21 rural settlements located in Maroodi Jeh and Gabiley region.

The ActionAid international Director Mr. Adriano Combalino ,Somaliland Minister of Agriculture Prof. Farah Elmi Geedoole, Deputy Governor of Gabiley region were there to attend the unveiling ceremony of the three year development plan which was held in Mansour Hotel yesterday.

Mr. Ahmed Aden who head policy and public relation at ActionAid began by giving a brief history of the aid agency, “ActionAid began has working in Somalia in 1983 with refugees from the Ethiopia-Somalia war. In 1989 it was forced to close its programme after the government collapsed and the country descended into chaos. We returned to work with poor communities in Somaliland in 1993, first in the area of Sanaag and later also in Togdheer. ActionAid Somaliland supports the basic needs and rights of poor people.

Poverty is known to be caused by a multiplicity of factors. In Somaliland, poverty is a complex state sustained by deprivation of capacities, choices, power imbalances and denial of rights (such as access to water, health, hygiene, food, shelter, clothing and medication). Given the complex nature of the problems, external support is needed to alleviate the problems, in the short term, with the ultimate aim of eradicating poverty.

Over the 18 years that Action Aid has been working in Somaliland, one of the major concerns has been reduction of workload for women. Access to water in Somaliland involves heavy work load, conflicts and long daily travels to far off and unsafe water points and missed opportunities for girls, including, learning and self-advancement.    

The new three Development plan aims to promote sustainable agriculture and improved market access to address people’s right to food access. Sustainable agriculture is a way of life based on self-reliant and agro-ecological systems that encompass all forms of livelihoods for smallholder farmers.

The deputy governor of Gabiley region Mr. Ali Abdillahi Abdi speaking at the function on behalf of farmers in Gabiley thanked the ActionAid for implementing similar development projects such as sustainable agriculture approaches which in turn promotes the ability of farmers, particularly smallholders, to gain access and own their resources such as land.

Madam Sa’da Abdi Aalin ActionAid country director said ,“The three year development Project will help promote a  Sustainable agriculture initiative which is the most efficient and socially just way to increase productivity, resilience to climate change, household incomes, job creation, regeneration of land and other natural resources, and improvements in household food security.  It also allows them to use those resources to secure their livelihood with the support of socially, economically, and environmentally appropriate technologies.

Mr. Adriano Combalino Director General of ActionAid International which operates in more than 47 countries worldwide and who his first vist to the country said, “This new project in Maroodi Jeh and Gabiley regions is an important one because we hope it will make a difference and we expect this initiative to immensely benefits local farmers in the improvements in household food security this in regard to the ever raising global food prizes, Every day, one in six people goes to bed hungry. Yet the world produces more than enough food for everybody. We’re tackling the causes of hunger, so that everyone can enjoy the right to have enough to eat.

Somaliland Minister of Agriculture Prof. Farah Elmi Geedoole officially launching the three year development project yesterday said, “Thanked ActionAid for the various development projects it undertakes in the country which are aimed at improving the livelihoods of Somaliland citizens, he went on to add, “Smallholder farmers in many countries are responsible for not only producing the food but also feeding their families and communities.