Hargeysa, Somaliland, May 29, 2010 (SL Times) – A program to assist
farmers and pastoralists will begin in Somaliland. The program will be
financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
and is expected to cost $6.5 Million. The Somali language newspaper
Haatuf which is a sister publication of the Somaliland Times interviewed
the Director of the IFAD program for the Near East and North Africa, Dr
Nadim Khouri. According to Dr Khouri, about 53,000 families in Awdal and
Hargeysa regions will benefit from this project which will be
implemented by TRANSTEC.
“I came here to work on a plan in which the IFAD, Belgium’s basic
survival needs fund and funds collected by Somaliland’s farmers will all
collaborate to improve Somaliland’s agriculture. We will be spending
$6.5 million on this project which will take 4 years. We are part of the
United Nations and the beneficiaries of the program will include small
farmers, fishermen, pastoralists and the landless,” Dr Khouri said.
IFAD will also focus on helping farmers and pastoralists to procure
clean water and to get the skills and know how to adequately feed their
livestock and increase their output.
“IFAD had carried out another project in Somaliland, two years ago, and
after evaluating that project, we started this second project,” said Dr
Here are some of Dr Khouri’s answers to Haatuf newspaper’s questions.
Haatuf: How much will be altogether spent on this project?
Khouri: $6.5 million.
Haatuf: Which regions will benefit from this program?
Khouri: Awdal and Hargeisa regions will benefit from this project with a
total of 318,000 individuals or 53,000 families living in 160 locations.
Haatuf: What are your future plans for Somaliland?
Khouri: We base our plans on need, and as long as the people of
Somaliland believe were are standing with them and helping them, we will
continue to do so.
Haatuf: Somaliland frequently suffers from drought and pastoralists
complain about water shortages, do you intend to build water reservoirs?
Khouri: Yes, finding clean drinkable water in times of drought is part
of our project, and we will build reservoirs at the appropriate places
but what is also important is that people learn how to make optimum use
of water. Yesterday I went to Abaarso, Taysa and Gabiley; I asked people
what they wanted, and they said they wanted clean water and medicine,
and we always give priority to what people need. I was accompanied by
IFAD’s representative in Somaliland Mr Tawfiq Al Zabri, Rose who
represents the Belgian Fund, Dr. Mohanad Al-Asad the director of
TRANSTEC who is in charge of this project and Hans-Juergen an official
Haatuf: Finally, what message do you want to send to the people who will
benefit from this project?
Khouri: My message is do not leave your farms and the countryside
because many people in Somaliland are leaving their farms and the
countryside and are coming to the cities; and to make people stay on
farms and the countryside is one of the main reasons for which IFAD was