Agriculture in Djibouti
Djibouti is a small dry country strategically-located in the Horn of Africa at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. With a population of 980 000 in 2021, according to the World Bank, its economic activity centres upon providing port services, including for its land-locked neighbour Ethiopia. About 30 per cent of the population are rural yet farming is underdeveloped, generating just 4 per cent of GDP. In Djibouti , the agricultural sector contributes just 1,5% of GDP, and only a few people work in farming. Due to the Djibouti climate (arid to semi -arid) and the scarcity of fresh water resource s (~150 mm rainfall/year) , only irrigated and seasonal agriculture is possible. Arable land is scarce, so farming is based upon pastoralism. Improving access to water is the main priority for rural communities and for raising livestock production. Djibouti farmers use diesel engine water pumps, which have significant costs to purchase and operate. These high costs result in elevated prices for locally produced agriculture products compared to imported fruits and vegetables. Djibouti therefore imports most of its fresh vegetables and fruits from neighbouring countries, including Ethiopia, Yemen, Kenya, and Europe/France.
There are no large-scale fisheries in Djibouti. Much of the fishing is carried out at the subsistence level, using hook and line and target its demersal and reef species. To a lesser extent, gill and throwing nets are also used. Lobsters are of minor importance, and are collected by local divers. Fishing effort is generally low. Landed catches consist almost entirely of large fish that fetch higher prices in the market. Fish are marketed fresh and there is no processing that can be considered of much relevance. All fish is landed whole, fresh and consumed locally. There is some small-scale drying and salting of anchovies and sardines, much of which is exported to neighbouring countries.