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EU and FAO extend support to long-term seed production in Somaliaqrcode

Mar. 29, 2016

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Mar. 29, 2016
The European Union, the Federal Government of Somalia and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations recently jointly launched a new project that will provide important and much-needed support to the long-term development of Somalia's agriculture sector. 

 “Any farmer in the world knows the value of high-quality locally-adapted seeds. They boost production and reduce vulnerabilities to diseases, pests and climate-related changes. Somalia is no exception” said Richard Trenchard, FAO's Representative to Somalia. For many years, Somali farmers have had to rely on higher cost imported seeds. “This is now changing thanks to generous support from the European Union” added Trenchard. 
 
The “Soma seeds — Improving the genetic quality of seeds in Somalia” project is receiving €2.5million from the European Union (approximately USD2.8 million). These resources will help sure that Somali farmers have far better access to high-quality, locally adapted seeds each time they plant major food crops, vital for a country in which 40% of the total population faces food in security on a daily basis.  The project builds on the successful results of two previous EU funded interventions that have helped lay the foundations for seed sector development in Somalia.
 
The new project will be implemented by FAO working in close partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, a number of regional Ministries of Agriculture across the country, International Centres of Excellence and the private sector. 
 
“This project will provide an important boost to agricultural development and promote better livelihoods in Somalia but at the same time will greatly contribute to build resilience especially in a context progressively and constantly affected by climate change. Thanks to this project, farmers will be able to produce seeds better adapted to local conditions, increase productivity and access to market with products of better quality” said Daria Fane, Head of the Cooperation of the EU.  “Soma seeds” is a National Project that has been put in place to enhance core capacities in the Ministries of Agriculture and farmers' organizations.
 
The program will build the skills needed for plant testing, plant breeding, basic seed production and in establishing a seed certification system that conforms to international standards. This will diversify the seed market in Somalia and make locally produced improved and certified seeds available to farmers.
 
In turn this will reduce dependency on imports and responds to both the demand of the agriculture sector and emergency situations.  “The project will also put in place the requisite mechanisms for public, private sector and civil society to form partnerships and mitigate and adapt better to the circumstances of climate change” said Richard Trenchard, FAO's Representative to Somalia. 
 
Two Research Stations will be developed to ensure the effective implementation of planned activities; one in Dollow in Jubbal and and the other in Aburiin in Somaliland. Field plots fortesting seeds will be established in Jowhar and Burao.
Source: FAO

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