Somalia: UN pledges to prioritize sustainable food systems

MOGADISHU (Xinhua), June 5 – Somalia and UN agencies concluded a three-day conference on Wednesday, in Mogadishu. They committed to building resilient livelihoods, and transforming agrifood system.

The meeting of the Somali Government, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Food Program (WFP), emphasized the importance of sustainable systems of food in government action to improve the lives of Somalis.

In a Mogadishu statement, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation Mohamed Abdi Hayir said that the key to food and nutrition security is sustainable investments in agricultural value chain.

Hayir stated that his ministry would continue to play a key role in fulfilling its mandate, by coordinating with partners and providing effective and efficient services for Somali farmers.

Participants to the meeting, which was held on the joint resilience project, included senior government officials, farmers cooperatives, representatives of state governments, and local partners.

All project stakeholders were brought together to discuss and learn from the joint resilience action.

Ezana Kassa is the head of FAO Somalia’s program. She highlighted that partnerships are vital in transforming agrifood and building resilient livelihoods.

Kassa stated that “strong partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation on federal and state level ensured the successful completion of this joint resilience in Somalia and it is essential to creating efficient, sustainable, and inclusive agrifood system and strengthening smallholder farmer’s resilience to climate changes in Somalia.”

The project improved the resilience of vulnerable farm households by implementing a wholesome Farm-to-Folk (F2F) approach. It also empowered 7,500 farmers through climate-smart agriculture production techniques.

El-Khidir Daloum, WFP’s Country Director in Somalia, said that working with the Somali Government at both federal-state levels and development agencies was crucial to boosting productivity and creating market links for smallholder farmers.

“These efforts are crucial for the development of sustainable food systems in Somalia and strengthening its resilience to climate changes. These alliances are a catalyst for immediate improvement and lay the foundation for long-term growth and stability in Somalia,” Daloum stated.

Participants from the farmer cooperative project also attended the meeting and highlighted the positive effects the project has had on them.

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