By: Latifa Yusuf Masai
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Major stakeholders in the Agricultural sectors have concurred on the imperatives of food sustainability in the country.
The USAID funded Partnership for Economic Growth Program has achieved a measure of success in its Agriculture sub-activity whose objective is to Improve vegetable production in Awdal Region as a prelude to Increasing production through introduction of modern technologies, Saving on scare foreign exchange and Increase farmer incomes Agricultural and business extension Seed production/multiplication
This was revealed at a two days Agricultural Technology Testing and Transfer workshop held at Hargeisa’s ambassador hotel where participants included government, cooperatives, Local and international NGO’s, UN Agencies, Academic institutions and donor agencies .
Objectives of the workshop
1. To share with stakeholders the outcomes of trials conducted in Amoud and learn from other experiences
2. Understand the current and emerging issues of agriculture in Somaliland
3. To identify the key technical, institutional and policy challenges and opportunities for agricultural R&D in Somaliland
4. To develop a short list of strategic options that the Ministry of Agriculture can, in collaboration with other (potential) development agencies and the commercial sector, facilitate/implement to enhance delivery of agricultural support and applied research services
According to the USAID’s Partnership for Economic Growth Program Manager Mr. Suleiman Mohamed the Agricultural sub-activity with a funding of $1m and implemented jointly with the ministry of agriculture works in close collaboration with Somali Agricultural Technical Group (SATG) and Amoud University
Successes that can be gleaned from the Agriculture sub-activity in the target area of within Awdal region including gradual introduction of modern farming technologies as well as the completed training in skills and numeracy for formerly illiterate 75 farmers http://somalilandsun.com/index.php/development-aid/2532 thus laying the foundation for the business extension, marketing and record-keeping training that they will partake in during the up- coming growing and harvest seasons.
While stressing on the importance agricultural sub-activity that entails availing the country not only food sustainability but access to quality produce as well the program manager said that current imports from neighbouring Ethiopia amount to $75m annually.
Amoud University has after two years of intense testing managed to develop six types of vegetable seeds.
According to the Amoud University deputy chancellor Prof Ahmed Abdilahi Bogore the faculty of agriculture has developed six different types of hybrid vegetable seeds that have shown resilience to local conditions and a return of quality produce, said he,” the best so far are Salad, tomatoes and onions”
Apart from presentations made by various stake holders in the agricultural sectors during the two days’ workshop whose theme was other activates included group brainstorming sessions dwelling on Variety testing, Variety release, Certification and Local production, dissemination (transfer) and commercialization: