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Somalia's plans to become agricultural success bring results

Staff Writer |
Somalia, possessing 6.2 million hectares of virgin land for farming and expansive waters for fishing, is emerging as an agricultural success.

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At the recent Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Nairobi, Somali government officials said that about 2.9 million hectares of land — 2.3 million hectares under rain-fed agriculture and 630,000ha under irrigation — have been exploited for agriculture.

Speaking on the sidelines of AGRF, Abdullahi Sheikh Ali Ibrahim, Somalia’s Deputy Minister of Planning and International Co-operation, said that the country has considerable resources.

“There is huge potential for delivering rapid economic growth for the country. The resources include 8.5 million hectares of arable land, more than 50 million head of livestock and about 1.8 million tonnes of fish available for export annually,” said Mr Ibrahim.

The federal government has unveiled a three-year national development plan that includes a comprehensive strategy and action plan for kickstarting the country’s development, with agriculture as the focal point.

The country has a conducive environment for sesame, lemon and banana production. Sesame is one of Somalia’s flagship export crops, but its productivity is low.

On average, the country produces 300kg per hectare compared with Ethiopia’s 1,800kg. The low productivity is attributed to farmer’s lack of access to improved seeds and other inputs.

Ibrahim said that in the past three years, over 100 farmers have been growing guava in preparation for the installation of a guava processing plant before the end of the year.

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