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Tractor hours for food security

Sunday, October 4, 2015 - 13:03
“My wife prepares foods from sorghum and corn. We have abundant supply of food for our family. My kids are much healthier both mentally and physically”, tells Ahmed Abdi Ali, a small holder farmer in Allay- baday.
Ahmed had an increased yield in 2014 because he used additional tractor hours to till his farmland. Ahmed was not always so confident. “Last year I had only 3 tractor-hours, I knew I needed more hours but I couldn’t afford”. As a result of insufficient tillage he harvested just 10 sacks of sorghum and corn. The quantity was hardly sufficient to feed his family for a few months.
In July 2014, Ahmed received four tractor-hours support from ActionAid and he added another two himself. Doubling the tractor hours had a substantial impact on his harvest. He adds, “I harvested 30 sacks of sorghum and corn. Thanks to additional tractor hours, it made a huge impact on the final harvest.”.
A sack of sorghum or corn is equivalent to 50 kg which fetches 20 USD in the market.
Ahmed donated 3 sacks of produce to his needy relatives. “I have 20 sacks in reserve for family consumption and I sold 7”, Ahmed proudly shares. Ahmed has enough harvest to feed his family throughout the year. The valuation of his entire harvest in 2014 was around 600 USD.
Tractor-hours is a livelihood support programme of ActionAid Somaliland for poor smallholder farmers in Marodeejix and Gabeily Regions for tilling their farms. In order to help farmers prepare the land for food production, ActionAid provided 9,000 tractor-hours to around 4500 vulnerable and poor smallholder farmers in 2014.
Abdirahman Abdilahi Muse, Communication Officer, is the author of this blog.