Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed met with farmers from Lower and Middle Shabelle regions Wednesday (January 29th) to discuss the challenges they face and best practices for rebuilding a strong agriculture sector and economic recovery.
Ahmed, along with Minister of Agriculture Abdi Ahmed Mohammed, Deputy Minister Osman Libah Ibrahim, also discussed avenues of potential government support for the sector. They agreed on the need to resume control of areas currently occupied by al-Shabaab militants who are perpetuating insecurity and undermining the agriculture sector by seizing land illegally.
"Farmers in parts of Somalia continue to face many challenges to their livelihood from extreme weather conditions such as flooding and droughts to the seizure of their lands and illegal taxation by al-Shabaab," Ahmed said. "Restoring and redeveloping our export-led agriculture sector is a key part of our long-term economic plan to secure Somalia's future. It will create jobs and prosperity for the people of Somalia, allowing them to provide for their families and helping to spread security and stability."
Mohammed said he anticipates holding several more meetings with local farmers, fisherman, exporters and non-governmental organisations working on agricultural development in the coming weeks.