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Livelihood & Food Security

Somaliland is chronically food insecure due to frequent natural and man-made disasters that erodes the livelihood base of the community.

Strategic objective

Promote economic alternatives for smallholder farmers, with particular emphasis on women and pastoralists.

Programme Focus Area

Supporting smallholder farmers, women and pastoralists to engage in economic alternatives and build resilience to climate change.

Key Promises

The focus of this objective is towards accessing smallholder farmers and women to sustainable and productive resources, and building farmers’ platform to influence policies and access to services. It will further empower farmers and women with better farming skills, build solidarity and campaigns to change duty bearers’ attitudes and behaviours. We will work with local authorities and line ministries to organize livestock market days in the cities.
  • By 2017, 12,650 smallholder farmers out of which 6,325 are women will be food secure.
  • By 2017, 250,000 pastoralists and small holder farmers of which 50% are women will have access to water for human, livestock and irrigation in Local Rights Programme and other project areas.
  • By 2017 farmers from 4 LRPs will have vibrant platforms to confront duty bearers and influence policies.

Somaliland is chronically food insecure due to frequent natural and man-made disasters that erodes the livelihood base of the community. Unfair terms of trade further reduce family access to food and other commodities. A weak economy and fragile environment do not offer employment opportunities thereby increasing rural-urban migration and slum development.

Limited employment opportunities drive youth to terrorism, petty crimes and harmful habits like Qat (Catha edulis) chewing (mild narocotic stimulant) and drugs. With the persistent increase in global food and fuel prices, vulnerable social groups will be the hardest hit. The Euro-zone and US economic crises and subsequent unemployment has reduced remittance from the Diaspora, hence food insecurity. Lack of access to direct foreign investment, inadequate government revenue and absence of national food security and natural resource management policies pose further challenges to food sufficiency.

The majority of the rural population, whose economic mainstay is livestock, remains food insecure and are extremely vulnerable to external shocks. Although the land is managed communally on clan base, the competition over settlements in urban centres, rangeland enclosures and fodder reserves by the rich and powerful is gradually shrinking the grazing land for the pastoralists. The poor and IDPs also damage the vegetation cover for charcoal as a source of income. This environmental degradation has resulted in grave soil erosion and reduction in rainfall effectiveness. Cyclic drought and scarce water discourage people to produce food. Although women participation in farming as an alternative coping mechanism to drought, they do not own and control land. Culture denies women to inherit land and other valuable assets such as frankincense trees and camels.

Operationalizing strategic objective

We will support women and small-scale farmers through enhancing their farming skills to increase household food sufficiency. We will empower farmers’ organizations and help build platforms to advocate for the delivery of agricultural and livestock extension services. The farmers’ organizations and Pastoral Development Committees will be linked to the regional and national institutions to champion for formulation of national policy on marketing, women land inheritance, environmental protection and sustainable natural resource management.

ActionAid will support women and poor farmers to construct/rehabilitate shallow wells for kitchen gardening and small-scale cash crops as an alternative household income. We will invest in a large-scale water project that will meet long term needs of the pastoralists to reduce their vulnerability to drought and improve livelihoods, and will work with line ministries to enhance government extension service. We will also carry out necessary environmental impact assessment prior to the execution of the projects.