Creating better policies and a stronger market
The project titled "Technical Assistance for Institutional Capacity Building on Agriculture Value Chain and Public-Private Partnership Development" was launched in Mogadishu today and is a joint initiative by the European Union, the Ministries of Agriculture of the Federal Government of Somalia and all Federal Member States, the Federal Ministry of Planning. Adam Smith International will implement the project in partnership with Somali Agriculture Technical Group (SATG). It will provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Agriculture at Federal and State level in order to strengthen their capacity to manage, support and regulate the sector as well as facilitate partnerships with farmers and the private sector. The Technical Assistance will also develop value chain analysis engaging private sector and farmers' communities to define actions and strategies to increase competitiveness of key agriculture products in Somalia. The €2 million project is funded under the framework of the OUTREACH Programme "Partnership for Inclusive Economic Growth", also funded by the European Union, and which will subsequently support the implementation of the value chain strategies and actions.
Agriculture in Somalia major employment and largest economic sector
The importance of agriculture and livestock to Somalia’s economy is immense. It provides 60 percent of the country’s GDP, 80 percent of its employment and 90 percent of its exports. The sector has great export potential, especially in banana and sesame, however low levels of productivity, vulnerability to climate change and low product quality hamper this potential. These issues could potentially marginalise small-holder agriculture in Somalia and lead to reduced employment and opportunities for youth and migrant returnees. Finding ways to improve the value chains and the institutional capacity of the Government can have a significant impact on small-folder farmers’ income as well as Somalia’s overall economy.
The meeting was an opportunity to share the project’s objectives and agree on the next steps. Furthermore, it provided an opportunity to discuss the implementation process of the National Agriculture Strategy for Somalia which was undertaken by all Ministries of Agriculture of the country since 2016. The Deputy Minister for Agriculture as well as the Ministers of Agriculture for South-West State, Hirshebelle and Galmudug, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture for Jubbaland and officials from the Ministry of Agriculture of Puntland were in attendance and highlighted the importance of the initiative.
"This project is extremely important to technically prepare all stakeholders and define priorities and partnerships which will facilitate EU and other's donors' interventions supporting agriculture value chain in Somalia" said Martino Vinci, EU Programme Manager for Productive Sectors.
Team Leader, Hussein Haji, said: “ASI and SATG are very much looking forward to implementing this project and are confident the project has had a very strong start. We want to bring a new way of working to this sector which is truly participatory and engages everyone involved in Somalia’s most important agricultural value chains.
On his final remarks, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, H.E. Hamoud Ali Hassan, said: "The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and irrigation with other State Ministers will work to develop unified government policies on the development of agricultural sector of Somalia. I hope this Project will increase the resilience and livelihood opportunities for small farm holders".