Somalia becomes the 6th country to launch a Multistakeholder Platform

Wed, 26-06-2024 15:00:00

Group PhotoSomalia becomes the sixth African Union Member state to establish a Multi-Stakeholder Platform (MSP) to address challenges in feed and fodder sector. Following the lead of Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Zimbabwe, Somalia's MSP seeks to stabilize, improve, and strengthen its feed and fodder systems through collaborative efforts among sector players.

Current challenges in Somalia's feed and fodder sector

Somalia's feed and fodder sector is highly underdeveloped, creating serious challenges to animal productivity and food security. According to surveys, animal feeding expenses account for up to 70 per cent of total livestock production costs. The sector suffers from a fragmented supply chain, which is exacerbated by conflicts between farmers and herders over dwindling grazing pastures.

The country's largely arid and semi-arid environment, characterized by low and unpredictable rainfall, significantly impacts forage and feed availability. Seasonal rainfall patterns influence the availability of natural feed supplies, making livestock production extremely vulnerable to recurring droughts. Traditional grazing techniques deteriorate pasture quality further, necessitating better rangeland management for long-term sustainability.

Climate change exacerbates these difficulties by increasing the frequency and severity of droughts, floods, and extreme weather events. These climate upheavals cause extensive animal loss and pasture degradation, exacerbating feed and fodder shortages. Somalia's reliance on natural pastures, including grasses, bushes, and crop leftovers, is becoming unsustainable. Low production of high-quality fodder, such as Sudan grass, limits animal nutrition and productivity.

The emphasis on emergency relief efforts frequently overshadows sustainable development goals. Inadequate funding for capacity-building programs impedes long-term success in the cattle sector. The lack of well-developed fodder farms exacerbates the problem by reducing feed availability and quality.

The formation of the MSP is a critical step towards establishing a structured and functional feed and fodder industry. The MSP's goal is to support a more productive, sustainable, and resilient livestock sector by encouraging collaboration among government agencies, the corporate sector, academia, civil society among others. This will in turn improve food and nutrition security and creating economic possibilities, particularly for women and young people.

For the MSP to succeed, it is vital to strengthen stakeholder collaboration and encourage partnerships to develop a cohesive strategy to improve the feed and fodder sector.Encourage investment in infrastructure, research, and development to spur innovation and progress in Somalia's livestock sector.

Creating robust data gathering and analysis systems that will effectively guide decision-making and policy formulation in Somalia's livestock industry.

Creating monitoring and accountability frameworks is crucial to establishing sustainable and resilient livestock systems throughout Africa. The Somalia MSP can serve as a model for other countries, helping to track progress and address emerging issues.

Future trends in the feed and fodder business will involve greater integration of technology, such as artificial intelligence, robots, and automation. These developments will enable more precise agricultural and livestock monitoring and management, leading to increased efficiency and productivity. Additionally, there will be a stronger emphasis on sustainable and regenerative practices, particularly organic and agroecological approaches.

Investing in research and development will be critical to enhance the use of innovative technology for long-term success. This includes supporting genetic modification research, sustainable farming practices, and digital technologies for more efficient management. Collaboration between the public and commercial sectors, as well as international organizations, is crucial for addressing sectoral concerns such as information sharing, capacity building, and resource mobilization.

Policy changes and incentives are necessary to promote the use of sustainable techniques and local resources in Somalia's livestock industry. Technological advancements are vital for modernizing the feed and fodder sector, enabling precision agriculture, exploring alternative protein sources, utilizing digitalization, adopting sustainability programs, and adapting to future trends.

Microfinance organizations like Bushra can play a significant role in uplifting Somalia's underprivileged populations. They provide tailored lending solutions, flexible savings plans, financial literacy campaigns, and personalized customer service. Bushra's groundbreaking GAASHAAN model, which combines non-collateralized lending, group loans, communal guarantees, and shared success, promotes teamwork and financial empowerment.

Bushra supports the livestock industry by offering loans for fodder seed purchases, water harvesting technology, storage facilities, and processing equipment. Group investment loans have stimulated economic activity and improved livelihoods.

Developing Somalia's livestock sector while fostering social improvement holds great promise.The future of microfinance in Somalia looks promising for boosting the livestock sector and building resilience. To achieve this, attention needs to be given to key areas such as broadening reach, creating innovative financial products, improving collaborations, and encouraging sustainable practices. By adopting these ideas, microfinance banks like Bushra can help Somali feed and fodder farmers improve their livelihoods and contribute to a more resilient and profitable livestock sector.

The establishment of the MSP in Somalia is a crucial step in addressing the challenges faced by the feed and fodder sector. By leveraging technology, encouraging teamwork, and investing in long-term practices, Somalia can achieve food security, economic resilience, and environmental sustainability. Microfinance institutions will have a vital role in supporting these efforts and ensuring that the benefits of development reach all levels of society.

About AU-IBAR: 

AU-IBAR operates as a technical office within the African Union Commission, with a core mission to support African Union member states in harnessing the potential of animals for human well-being and economic development. The organization plays a pivotal role in coordinating and advancing livestock development across the continent. 

Note to Editors: 

For additional information, please visit AU-IBARs website on RAFFS 

For more Project information contact Dr. Sarah Ashanut Ossiya - 

For communications and media inquiries, contact: Fiona Imbali-