Somalia youth promote climate-smart farming to contain hunger crisis

Agro ecological farming

Somalia has been reeling from climatic shocks including droughts and floods, exposing local citizens to food insecurity and forced migration. However, an innovative youth has devised a climate-smart farming model to help communities beat the hunger and malnutrition crisis that has become endemic in the Horn of Africa state.

Khadar Abdikadir Abdullahi, a resident of Baidoa town in the Southwest State of Somalia, is an energetic pioneer of modern agricultural systems that are high-yielding and tolerant to climatic stresses.

In a bid to transform his motherland’s agriculture sector through leveraging technology, knowledge and skills, Abdikadir has installed dozens of greenhouse farms in Baidoa.”There are quite a number of both the greenhouse farms and the drip irrigation system that I established in our district, about 37 of them now, for clients and for myself,” Abdikadir said.

The young bubbly agronomist underscored the significance of climate-resilient farms and why it is crucial for Somali farmers to adopt it and boost their resilience.

“In fact, the skill is one of the most needed in our country. It has increased quality production. Less water is used and prevents excess evaporation when irrigating,” he told Xinhua during a recent interview.

The Amoud University graduate has the determination to challenge the climate-driven decline in agriculture productivity in his ancestral birthplace.

“The process needs perseverance and persistent action throughout its course. I believe we can transform the old narrative of hunger and starvation in Somalia. Our land is actually fertile and only requires competent hardworking farmers,” Abdikadir said.

One of the greenhouses he owns in Baidoa town that measures 8 by 24 meters earns him a fortune on a regular basis. “I get an average of 80 kilograms of cucumbers and 60 kilograms of San Marzano tomatoes daily. In the market, one kilogram of cucumber costs 1.5 U.S. dollars while that of tomatoes goes for around 3 dollars.

Due to the unemployment crisis in Somalia, Abdikadir has been encouraging fellow youth to embrace modern farming and generate sustainable revenues.

“There are few white-collar jobs in the country and the only way the youth can secure financial freedom is by investing in farming,” Abdikadir said.

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