From Beneficiaries to Producers, the Story of Two Farmers in Durduri
Published December 12, 2018 by Muna Ali Mohamoud
Why support local farmers? Well for starters, it might be the most viable and cost-effective way to reduce hunger and the food insecurity. It provides easily accessible and cheaper, fresh, and nutritious food. It strengthens the local economy by providing jobs and injecting money into the local economy from local purchases.
In Somalia, Adeso is assisting communities to grow their own food and increase agricultural production by providing farmers with seeds, tools, technical expertise and improving irrigation systems. In Durduri village in the northern coast of Somalia, Mohamed Ali Dualle and Abdirizak Ali started their farms in 2006. They were encouraged by the need in their community and all the potential benefit that could be made from farming. But they were also overwhelmed by a number of obstacles such as water scarcity. At the coast, where farmers traditionally relied on rain for irrigation, consecutive droughts and lack of reliable water for irrigation affects their crop yield, and at times causes failed harvest.
Smallholder farmers also depend on fuel powered generators to pump water for irrigation. The cost of the fuel and the maintenance of the generators, the pumps and other irrigation units are extremely costly. Sometimes this costs them the entirety of the earnings from the farm, leaving the farmers and their families with little to live on.
"Droughts have a negative effect on farms. Farms rely on rain more than irrigation. The longer the drought lasts, the harder it is to find water and you will have to find another source of water. And not everyone can afford to find another reliable and sustainable water source that’s for irrigation," said Abdirizak Ali.
Back in 2012, Adeso helped the farmers by contributing to the construction of the two water storage facility. This was a relief to some of their water shortage problem but did not solve it entirely, as rainfall has decreased in the recent years. Seeing how the farmers were still unable to realize optimal use of their production, Adeso provided solar irrigation systems and date palm seeds to 10 farmers in Durduri, among them Mohamed and Abdirizak. Having access to a consistent and adequate irrigation helped improve the farms production and relieved the famers from the reliance on expensive irrigation.
Today both Mohamed and Abdirizak are selling their cash crop and date palm produce in the village and in other surrounding villages and towns. “We are currently working on packing the date harvest to send it to our families and to also supply it to nearby villages and big towns like Bosaso. Dates have a nutritional value, and they are often imported from other countries. We are proud to be producing it locally for our consumption and to make money from it.” Says Mohamed as he inspects his yield.