Published On: Wed, May 1st, 2013

Somaliland:The Challenges of Somaliland Agriculture

Somaliland needs badly agricultural policy encouraging technology transfer to increase local crop productions both for small scale farmers and large scale farmers in the country. It is not an easy task; it requires endeavors regarding formulation of policies on food self-sufficiency, by boosting domestic production of major food staples with technology transfer and mobilizations of resources both human and natural accordingly, then the sector will definitely turn out to be industrious. They should implement policies with the goal of achieving a specific outcome in the domestic agricultural production. Outcomes can involve, for example, a guaranteed supply level of seeds, fertilizers, pesticide, machinery and technology transfer.

Food is imported on a larger scale than ever despite the fact that we have the land and appropriate climate to grow any crop in addition to the capital needed but food production is at low levels and it has to be increased more than the present levels to satisfy the needs of our people. Much of the increase would have to come from intensification of agricultural production despite land use planning concept is missing which determines what parts of a community will be used for farms and what parts will be used as forestry and other uses. Nevertheless, the government authorities should bear in mind that there is a dilemma regarding  achieving a higher crop production rate using agronomic practices, pesticides, nutrient management, and machinery and the  need to slow down environmental degradation and whichever agricultural programme that is to be carried out should be sustainable or else we will fail to deliver goods. 

In fact, people with higher degrees  in the agriculture sector  are underutilized and should be exploited for the better as consultants and head of departments for the concerned ministries  with funds to be sought either from the government or UN and INGO to  prevent  brain drain of the line ministries. To that end, the ministry of agriculture is required to fully utilize the human resources available in the country in order to make use of the existing opportunities both within international organizations and local economic resources.  The ministry of agriculture in Somaliland has to take up the challenges in the direction of the higher crop production rate to this end they need to prepare a chain of Agricultural development projects for donor organizations and the propagation of relevant technologies made available to improve the crop yield in the country.

Moreover, there are also prospects for enhanced Somaliland agriculture sector in general and food production in particular if reports on the project completed by the UN and INGO working in the field of agriculture are better utilized. Even though those organizations made project reports available to the concerned ministries up to now they are not utilized for the benefit of the country simply the government do not have strong policy, capacity and willingness to do so whereas our government are more or less busy on political issues rather than producing enough food to its citizens. If the concerned ministries had written projects in this regard for donor agencies; we would have been closer to food self sufficiency.  However, we are far from reaching that goal. If we want to start is not too late just a commission has to be set up for agriculture whose tasks are among others Agri research, trainings, policy guidelines, quality of the food items.


Until today the current government did not address the severity of the food insecurity in which this country is suffering and the future generations are on the risk because they are exposed to bad quality food which in turn passing to them with diseases and the consequence is appalling than ever.  Even though the government appointed quality control commission, they are not doing enough. The local businessmen are importing bad quality food. They should have grown food locally instead.  It is in the need of the hour to go arm with arm with one another both government and people alike to make a difference. To overcome this problem, the ministry of agriculture needs to mobilize economic heavyweights in the country in order for them to seize the existing opportunity in the food industry.  The government has to offer to investors  the arable land for example Wajale plain for the cultivations of wheat, rice, barley and oil seed crops which are required in the country. If there are impediments within the government system discouraging businessmen to enter into the field then measurable steps has to be taken to remove that barrier.

The production of crops like wheat gives rise to the manufacture of flour and rice for local consumption thus making rice cheap and affordable.  Furthermore, opportunities also exist to grow crops like sunflower which is an oilseed crop for the manufacture of cooking oil in the country and similar opportunities are out there in the poultry and dairy farm. The outcome of these projects is money that had been used for importing essential food stables could be utilized for other developmental projects. It is ironic that our country exports livestock but milk is imported and on the other hand food and vegetables produced locally are not free from contamination of pesticides and are not fit for human consumption as well as imported food items are not the exception. Somaliland government does not have rules for governing domestic agriculture and imported agricultural products and so everybody sells deadly pesticides on the streets alongside food without fear.

The concerned ministries should monitor the use of pesticides in the country for that the line ministries need to seek cooperation on the subject with UN and other INGO?s involved in the field of agriculture and environment.

Thus, we should bear in mind that food that is imported cannot be guaranteed and it could stop at any time war is breaking out somewhere in Asia. We need to produce more food locally and reduce the reliance on food that is imported and for that reason; the government has to make strong interventions regarding the matter. To that end, we need a man who writes a name on the history of agriculture in Somaliland who is convinced that food could be secured and produced locally with affordable prices than ever.


By Abdirahman Ibrahim Abdilahi


Displaying 10 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. mohamed cheers says:

    The Somaliland Agriculture remains an important faculty field likewise all the other
    equally important National domestic fields. Simply said, Somaliland are going through
    developments on almost the entire infrastructure of the domestic wealth. Hopefully,
    education, healthcare, employment opportunities and related high living standards
    with generous incentives and pensions are of the utmost essence. Concentrating on
    the human factors should be the govts top policies.

  2. Ali moos says:

    To be a good Farmers and produce large production of farm goods it has to come from father to son at least four generation. in this part of somalia they never farm nor interest to farm. also to farm you need river or massive water dams with sophisticated water irrigation system+ good fertile land.

    • isaq violator says:

      Yes something we have in the South but you lack in the North, enjoy poverty khat eaters hahaha.

    • Djiboutian says:

      People of Somaliland always had less interest in agriculture (in their majority, their specialty is livestock). True
      Somalia does have rivers that Somaliland doesn't. The Juba is way South. True.

      But but what Somalilanders do have is the brain that seems to missing to people of the South. So how do you feel about good brotherly help. Somaliland will help you in thinking straight and in exchange you should help them with farming techniques.
      What isn't needed and obsolete here is tribalism, feeling the world would come to save you and thinking you need the other part of old Somalia to stand on your ground.

  3. NLander says:

    We can grow our own food the only thing is managing the water sources and getting our culture to finally realize that living like a nomad in the 21st century is just as backward as a masai living in a hut with flies around every ones faces. There is no pride in that or progress. If we want to build a civilization we need to move on from that and industrialize production.

  4. Saleebaan Xaaji says:

    An excellent article, Abdirahman. The three key areas, Education, Agriculture and Health. Once these three are address, the rest will fall into place. Unfortunately, all three are under-funded (given the meagre funds we have), but I believe the dedication and skills of the Somaliland people will go a long way to address the situation.

  5. NLander says:

    Oh please the northern mountains can be turned into terraced farms if the government put its shoulder to it. Somaliland has water its under the ground! Keep your rivers we also have an ocean we can desalinate. And as an extra insurance we can build a coop with Ethiopia like many countries have and set up farming communities there. They can use the port or a reduced price and we get access to cheaper farmland. We don't hate Ethiopia like you lot and that allows us to build relationships that are mutually beneficial.

  6. saeed says:

    An Excellent article showing the way forward for people to control their own future
    and to regulate local food consumption and dangerous pesticides. As a farm owner
    we need to stand up together and organize and work with the relevant groups and
    organizations to develop reasonable and affordable projects to show people the
    way forward. leaving the UK soon with machinery and other equipment, all Advice
    and comments welcome. via

  7. Mukhtaar Cabdillahi Caydiid says:

    This is a great challenge that exists today and will continue if we don´t take a quick step to think back and produce our own food. As is mentioned in this article, if a war accour in Asia then we are in a danger. This is one of the major reasons that me ( mukhtaar Cabdillahi Caydii) and my friend ( Maxamed Maxamuud Axmed) are now learning Agriclutural Engineering in EARTH University in Costa Rica. Let us cooperate and end the unnecessary poverty in our country.

Leave a comment

You must be Logged in to post comment.