The Prospects of Tea Growing in Somaliland
By: Abdirahman Ibrahim Abdilahi
Somalilandsun – Many people in the country are of the view that tea cannot be grown in Somaliland given the erratic rainfall, inappropriateness of altitude and soil. In contrast, the climate is conducive to growing tea in the country and there is a technology to manage soil and rainfall.
A leading Tea Development Authority in Kenya tea Production Company is looking into the potential prospects of growing tea in Somaliland and is interested in setting up large scale tea plantations and small scale farms in the country and their vision is eventually to add value the tea products locally and package for local consumption and with time and capacity to export from Somaliland to neighboring regions. The principals overriding my interest in this sector are to enable the economic development of Somaliland by setting an example to be emulated by others.
Somaliland has the potential prospects of growing tea as far as climate is concerned and we have got the technology to overcome issues such as rainfall, altitude and soil fertility which is a relative concern on growing. The tea industry employs directly or indirectly more people in any country involved with tea growing and also generate a huge foreign exchange by means of export.
However, with limited information on Somaliland prospect potential in tea productions; Kenyan tea growing companies would appreciate if they find relative information on the matter. But unfortunately, almost all ministries have no websites or blogs on the World Wide Web that can be connected with the exception of the Minister of Presidency: Mr. Hersi Ali Haji Hassan and Somaliland Chamber of Commerce.
Each and every one of the Ministries concerned should have their own websites that can be visited in case information is required from them, such information contained in those websites may be included for example legal permission to enter into the country, work permission and policies of investment and much more or else, it would give bad image on the country prospects for business. It a is great idea to develop tea in Somaliland and there is a great potential and opportunities for growing tea in country and subsequently for consumption and sale of tea within the country and abroad. I know that there are no barriers to investment but with lack of communication may have negatively impacted on Somaliland business and economic sectors.
The communication is important as we are in the era of information technology and are obliged to make use of it in order to strengthen the economy far more better than ever. I personally support the idea of launching websites by Somaliland ministries for communication and guidelines for those who have business interest in Somaliland.
On the other hand, agriculture has been around for decades in the country for instance vegetables grown in Somaliland are watermelon, onion, hot pepper, tomato, lettuce and cabbage and fruits grown are mango, papaya, guava, citrus and pomegranates. All of the above mentioned horticultural crops are consumed in the country and are not exported with the exception of watermelon.
There was no problem with the balance between agriculture and nomads given to a line between agriculture and Nomads demarcated by the British at the time of their rule in Somaliland and still in use today although with small violations in some quarters of the country, on the whole the line between the two is stable.
If foreign investors on the subject matter are attracted, then the somaliland economy will be impacted, the lives of peasant farmers will be impacted and above all the agriculture sector will be also impacted.
Abdirahman Ibrahim Abdilahi
Contact : Abdirahman270@Gmail.com