World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Initiative Helps Somalis to Harvest Food from Local Farmers

UN-Backed Initiative Enables Somalis to Harvest Food from Local Farmers

New York, Mar 6 2014 - Farmers in south-central Somalia – the country’s “grain basket,” which has been severely affected by conflict and drought in recent years – are for the first time growing and selling grain for other Somalis as part of a United Nations-supported initiative.

“This initiative shows that Somali farmers are not helpless. With minimal assistance including agricultural inputs, tools, technical skills in storage, grading and marketing, they can make a great difference,” said Luca Alinovi, outgoing representative in Somalia for the UN Food and Agricultural Organization’s (FAO), one of the two UN agencies backing the project.

UN World Food Programme (WFP) Country Representative Stefano Porretti described the initiative “as a significant achievement for the participating farmers” and a milestone for WFP’s operations in Somalia.

“Strengthening livelihoods and increasing resiliency is an integral part of WFP’s strategy in Somalia,” Mr. Porretti added. “WFP will continue to support small-scale farmers in Somalia by empowering them to produce and sell more food, so as to become competitive players in local markets.”

The initiative is backed by funding from the Government of Austria which allowed the UN to buy 200 metric tons of high-quality maize from the farmers, for redistribution in other parts of the country.

For the past 12 years, experts from FAO and WFP, supported by the EU, have worked with communities to increase the quality of their production to meet international standards. Farmers were also trained to limit losses by keeping the grain free of contamination and pests, and how to handle, store and manage grain in warehouses.

Despite these advances, Somali farmers only meet 40 per cent of the country’s domestic cereal demand. According to the latest figures from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), an estimated 857,000 people inside Somalia are currently “in crisis and emergency conditions” in terms of food insecurity.

Somalia has been torn asunder by factional fighting since 1991 but has recently made progress towards stability. In 2011, Al-Shabaab insurgents retreated from Mogadishu and last year, new Government institutions emerged, as the country ended a transitional phase toward setting up a permanent, democratically-elected Government.

Parts of the country have now stabilized, allowing the UN to try to scale up the food initiative.

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Israel’s Demolition Of Palestinian Homes

Makarim Wibisono, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories. UN Photo/Violaine Martin More>>

ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Israeli Settlers Continue Their Attacks against Palestinians
  • Tribespeople Call On WWF To Stop Funding Abuse

    This Baka man from Ndongo village reported that he was severely beaten by anti-poaching squads on two occasions. His neighbors have appealed to WWF to stop funding such abuses. More>>

    Ebola: UN Crisis Response Mission Opens New Office In Mali

    Workers build an enclosure at the Mayagba Ebola community care centre construction site in Bombali District, which is among the areas worst affected by the disease in Sierra Leone. Photo: UNICEF/John James More>>

    ALSO:

    UNESCO Chief Denounces Murder Of Somali Radio Journalist

    Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz More>>

    Palestinian Refugees From Syria Face Worsening Situation

    Palestinian women at a UNRWA distribution centre in the Jaramana refugee camp, Damascus, Syria. Photo: UNRWA/Carole Alfarah More>>

    ALSO:

    Greece Risks Prolonged Social Crisis

    Greece’s severe financial crisis has bred social unrest and intolerance of the nearly one million irregular migrants living in the country (October 2012). Photo: IRIN/Kristy Siegfried More>>

    Madagascar: Warning Of ‘rapid’ Spread Of Plague In Capital

    Ny Hantra Andriatsifasoa survived the bubonic plague after being infected in Madagascar in 2011. Photo: IRIN/Tiana Randriaharimalala More>>

    New Bird Flu Strain In Europe Threatens Poultry Sector

    24 November 2014 – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization ( FAO ) today warned that a new bird flu strain detected in Europe poses a significant threat to the poultry sector, especially in low-resourced countries situated along ... More>>


    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news