Agriculture and farming in Somalia


Number of agricultural advertisements in Somalia:1 ads
Number of agricultural events in Somalia:0 events
Number of agricultural companies in Somalia:28 companies

Agriculture in Somalia

Somalia is located on the Horn of Africa bordering the Indian Ocean in the east, Gulf of Eden on the North, Ethiopia in the west and Kenya in the south west. Somalia’s terrain consists mainly of plateaus, plains and highlands.The total land area of Somalia is 638,000 km2, of which 31% is suitable for cultivation and 45% for livestock raising. The coastline is approximately 3,333 km. Somalia has five diverse livelihood systems: pastoralists, agro-pastoralists, fishing and coastal communities, urban population, and internally displaced people. About 49 percent of the population still live in rural areas. About 46 percent of employed people work in agriculture, 25 percent in crop cultivation, 9 percent in herding, 4 percent in fishing, and 7 percent in related activities (such as forestry and agro-processing).

In Somalia, two key rainy seasons (Deyr between October and December and Gu between April and June) dictate the timing of most agricultural and pastoral activities. Depending on the time of the year, livestock are moved between dry season and wet season areas in search of water and pasture. Cropping households plant during the rainy seasons and harvest once the rains ends. In pastoral areas, the main lean season when food insecurity peaks, is immediately before the Gu rainy season. During this time period, livestock body conditions are poor, livestock prices are reduced and milk production is constrained, all due to limited water and pasture resources.

Some 3 million hectares (about 5 percent of the total land area) are cultivable, including 2.3 million under rainfed conditions and 700,000 hectares split about equally between land potentially under controlled (pump) irrigation and flood- recession irrigation. Almost two-thirds of the cultivable land, both rainfed and irrigated, is in the fertile areas along and between the two major rivers in the south. A smaller cultivated rainfed area in the northwest and some oasis and coastal cultivated areas in the northeast constitute the remaining third. Rainfed areas rely mostly on groundwater extraction, rainfall harvesting, and moisture-retaining techniques. Much of the rest of the country is covered by rangeland with low productivity potential for crops because of very low and unreliable rainfall. Soil moisture is erratic and generally immature due to frequent soil movement by wind and water. The most common soils are pale coloured silt to silty coloured clays with varying percentages of gypsum and carbonates. The second soil is silt sand with high carbonate content. The third soil type is found in the southern area known as "Haud" and it is very dark red silty sand and contains no carbonates.

There are four primary agricultural zones in Somalia:
Northwest in parts of Awdal and W. Galbeed - rainfed maize and sorghum with some livestock herdings
Coastal Cowpea Belt Zone in Central and Southern Somalia
Shabelle and Juba Riverine Valleys - rainfed and irrigated maize, with sesame cash crops
Sorghum Belt in Bay and Bakool Region - rainfed sorghum with livestock production.

Somalia’s major staple food crops are sorghum (mainly rainfed, with an annual gross value of $47.6 million); maize (mainly irrigated, $35.4 million); sesame (mainly irrigated, $33.3 million); and cowpeas (mainly rainfed, $15.4 million). There is also about $1.5 million of rice production, which is important to the Middle Shebelle region, where its cultivation is concentrated.

Many fruit crops are grown, mostly under irrigated conditions in southern Somalia and virtually all for domestic consumption, including banana (with the gross average annual production value estimated at $82.3 for the pre- drought baseline), lemon ($39.3 million), watermelon ($31.5 million), papaya ($23.1. million), and grapefruit ($19.7 million), among others. Unlike before the war when there were large-scale banana exports, only two of these fruit crops are currently exported (dry lemons from Mogadishu and watermelons across the Somaliland border into Djibouti). In the arid north- central and north-eastern regions, dates ($121.7 million) and frankincense ($87.6 million) are also grown, including for export. Many vegetables are also grown for domestic consumption under both rainfed and irrigated conditions. The major ones are tomatoes ($102 million) and onions ($77 million).

Banana production - Before the civil war, bananas were the country’s largest crop. Estimated banana production in recent years has been much lower than before the start of the civil war. The Lower Shabelle region, with about 1,535 hectares under banana cultivation, accounts for more than three-quarters of total production, which was estimated at about 148,890 tons on 2,135 hectares before the most recent drought, all for domestic consumption. Yields were relatively high, at 50–74 tons per hectare. Many commercial banana plantations also produce other fruit (such as grapefruit, watermelon, and citrus) and food crops for local consumption.

Livestock remains the traditional repository of household wealth in Somalia, the largest export (75–78 percent of total exports by value), and an important source of livelihood for a large part of the population. The main production systems are nomadic pastoralism and agro-pastoralism. Large livestock-rearing operations with dairy animals (mostly camels), however, have been on the rise in settled mixed farming in peri-urban areas, with dairy animals at times confined to sites with water supplies, where they are fed conserved fodder and supplements. These animals supply nearby urban markets with fresh milk only, as there are no or minimal processing facilities.

The country has the following livestock reared- Sheep, Goat, Camel, Cattle as the predominant animals while poultry and piggery are also reported to be reared in smaller numbers. The goat and sheep population has more or less uniform presence across the country but has significant presence in the North Eastern and North Central Region. While the cattle population is mostly concentrated in the river valleys- Juba River valley, Inter-riverine regions and the Shabelle River valley. The camel population has uniform presence across the country. Camel are Somalia’s most important source of red meat, supplying 52% of meat needed and contributing 266.1 million USDs, equivalent to 3.3% of the livestock contribution to the economy. The breed of Camels available in Somalia are one-humped Arabian camel (Camelus dromedarues). The environment where these camels grows are reflected in their body characteristics. For example, the ones raised in the open grass-lands of Nugal valley are short in height, while those in the southern regions, where bushes predominate are taller and heavier. Poultry keeping is widespread among poor households, for both self-consumption and resale. Imports of day-old chicks and eggs for local hatcheries are still limited but growing steadily. Commercial poultry farming is on the rise, particularly in urban areas.

The genetic resource or breed of cattle found in Somalia are mainly the East African Zebu type of which the following breeds are recognized: Somali Boran, Gasara , Dauara and Surqo. Somali Boran - it is a large animal with a typical mature height at withers of 117–147 cm and 114–127 cm for adult males and females respectively and mature weights of 500–850 kg and 380–450 kg for adult male and females respectively. The coat colour is predominantly white with black points and can also be pigmented. Gasara - it is a small animal, maximum weight of between 250 and 300 kg, the coat colour is lead-grey, dark grey, dark red, pied or fawn with a white face, horns are short and thin, the hump is very pronounced.

Dauara - the animals are small with a maximum weight of between 280–320 kg, the coat colour is red or sandy red sometimes with patches of black, the hump is small, the horns are short and thin and they can be loose or absent, the back slopes sharply upwards raising the rump higher than the withers. Surqo - the breed has is the same size as the Somali Boran with a large body and short legs, the coat is white coat, light brown and dark mahogany. it has a moderate thoracic to cervico-thoracic hump. The breed is mainly used for meat and milk.

Milk production has been rising steadily since the late 1980s. It reached 1.1 million tons in 2013, with a gross market value estimated at about $2.7 billion ($1.65 billion just for camel milk) (figure 0.8). Estimates in the Drought Impact Needs Assessment (Somalia 2018) put total baseline milk production in 2014–15 at $3.3 billion ($2.7 billion for camel milk). Despite this record production, Somalia imports dairy products while exporting none. Structural constraints that have kept the dairy sector from reaching its potential include the same ones that affect the welfare and health of live animals, as well as poor or no enforcement of low and outdated prewar hygiene standards, lack of processes to preserve milk, inefficient marketing channels fraught with excessive intermediaries, the poor state of roads, rapid spoilage from high temperatures and humidity, and the absence of economies of scale. Somali forest and woodland resources represent small percentage of land area. It suffered badly from recurrent droughts and serious tree cutting practiced recently. The acacia species of the thorny savanna in southern Somalia supply good timber and are the major source of charcoal, but charcoal production has long exceeded ecologically acceptable limits. More efficient and careful handling of frankincense, myrrh, and other resin-exuding trees could increase yields of aromatic gums.

Somalia has the longest coastline in Africa (3,333 kilometres) and a large Economic Exclusive Zone. Although its coastal shelf is narrow and has limited habitats for demersal (bottom feeder) fish stocks, except off the Puntland coast, the Somali Large Marine Ecosystem supports a wide variety of marine ecosystems and a high level of diversity of fish, from large pelagic (highly migratory) species like tuna to smaller pelagic fish, crustaceans, and other reef species.

Agricultural advertisements in Somalia, buy and sell classified ads


1.0 SOS

Agricultural companies in Somalia

Zakia Fishing Company


Amin Fishing Company

Makka Al Mukarama Road


Km 4, Mogadishu, Somalia

Barrick East Africa

Elmi Business Center, Monsoor Area

Bariyow company


SKA International


AB Trading

Km 5 Street

Haybe Trading Company

new hargeisa

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