Poverty Eradication Strategies for Food Security and Democracy

Mohamed Ali Abukar, PhD
Somali Capacity-Development Strategic Planning Conference
*All pictures in this presentation are used only
for educational purpose*
 Poverty is a fuel for terror, and a:
 Threat to:
Human Rights
 Dimension of poverty that are considered in any assessment are:
 Income
 Lack of Education
 Health
 Democracy and Human Rights
 All are combined in so-called human Development.
 Peace, stability and democracy cannot be achieved when there
is hunger and poverty.
Growth of the Agricultural Sector
 This will largely depend on growth of crop production
and will be obtained in focusing investment in Research
and Extension.
 Somalia needs development plans that prioritize
agriculture to the center of economic growth, and
encourage investment in the agricultural potential areas.
 Good governance is essential for good economic growth.
 To achieve a sustainable rural development its necessary
to lay a foundation for long term development.
Cause of Slow Growth
 Political Instability
 Civil War
 Low Priority to food production
 Low status of women
 Droughts & Decertification
 Poor governance and greed of power
 Limited purchasing power.
 Tribalism and Religious extremists have fueled interconflict and struggle for internal power in Somalia.
Best strategy is to promote:
 Sustainable development
Small scale farmers and innovative agricultural practices
Community capacity building
Institutional building
Efficient technology development and transfer institutions.
Somalia’ small-scale farmers needs reform, and they can be a
real asset when supported by appropriate policies on
infrastructures, marketing information, credit, research,
extension and access to inputs.
 Improving linkage mechanisms and reorganizing research and
extension institutions will improve effectiveness in focusing a
shared goal and partnership with beneficiaries.
Improving Farmers
 In Somalia, poverty levels are growing and people are fleeing
the agricultural potential areas and heading toward the main
cities and abroad, where they hope to get a better life.
 Helping farmers to grow more food and develop their
knowledge, educating them to build basic thinking abilities
will certainly improve their life and keep them in the
agricultural potential villages.
 To eliminate rural poverty it is necessary to build upon and
connect several principles, such as: Market functioning, rural
education, health, clean water, participatory approach,
decentralization and family’s income.
Eradicating Poverty
 Our focus, is to fight hunger and eradicate poverty, which will
certainly lead to the creation of peace, democracy and good will
among all people and nations.
 The overall concept for world poverty is the number of people
who live in households whose daily consumption per head is
less then one US dollar per day.
 Innovative policies that ensures educational and health
facilities to become a reality for the vast segment of the
population that has yet to enjoy such benefits.
Measuring Domestic
 To measure domestic poverty we must consider:
House Income
Non-Formal Education
 Improving the education system will increase the
basic conditions for sustainable Development, food
security and a democratic system.
 Successful method of non-formal education is the
participatory approach.
 Extension may be seen as a form of Adult education
and try to change farmers behavior through
education and communication.
 This process will help in reducing and alleviating
poverty and accelerating development.
Project Formulation
 In Somalia most development programs are
formulated, and appraised by outside expert.
 Lack of involvement or insufficient community
participation will certainly result in many cases in
the failure of the program.
 In order to succeed, beneficiaries and all involved
institution must participate at every stage of the
program planning.
 Somalia’s land is about 64 Million Hectares
 About 29.9 Million hectares are classified as AP areas
 About 200,000 hectares along the rivers benefit from
largely seasonal flood and proper irrigation system.
 Somalia’s most reliable crop production comes from
the irrigated or seasonally flooded lands.
 Rain-fed crop production, oftentimes fails due to
frequent drought conditions.
 The United States leads the world in agricultural
productivity, and this success depends in part with the
American infrastructures for generating and
disseminating appropriate and useful technologies.
 Many international development aid and agencies have
set up their base in Somalia to help in reducing and
eradicating poverty.
 This process is certainly going to help in reducing hunger,
accelerating food security, which will create constructive
and enduring contribution toward peace, democracy and
Farming System
 The role of extension service as an educational
activity is a key to all social and cultural factors that
affects how farmer will choose the appropriate
farming system.
 The main way to improve Farming system and to
increase production is to educate farmers.
 Extension involves the use of communication to help
form sound opinion and make proper decision, and
implies a two way flow of technical information.
Participatory Approach
 Participatory approach is social mobilization, which
includes local organization development action
planning and evaluation of the action by the people
involved in the process.
 The participatory approach, means strengthening
mechanism for joint learning and sharing of experiences
and communication.
 The immediate impact is spreading technologies and
improving the self-governance of the community.
 Good technologies will encourage the community to
become the only people who can make effective decisions
about how to manage their own affairs.
People Empowerment
A good Model Is To Show And Teach
People How To Fish Rather Than Just
Giving Them A Fish.
Experience teaches that a well organized and
dynamic community characterized by
freedom and democracy will certainly give a
top priority to sustainable development.
Rural Women
 Somalia being a male dominated Society
 Men are seen as authority figures and whose decisions
are to be followed.
 Rural Women are shy and reluctant to speak up in
meetings in the presence of men.
 They also lack of confidence because lower educational
levels and less contact with the outside world.
 Needs reform to enhance their capabilities.
 Illiteracy should be reduced to the lowest level, and
literacy of women should reach the highest level.
Study on relative female efficiency
 A study on the relative efficiency of female and male
farmers concluded that maize yields for women
small holders were 7% more then men with the same
access to extension services, inputs and education.
 Women are responsible for 70% of food production
in Africa.
Capacity Building
 Capacity building and institutionalizing must be
closely linked and should be considered a priority.
 Educational Institutions should take a lead role in
developing appropriate strategies and activities to
build capacity.
 The adoption of the recommended technologies
and practices will lead to increase domestic and
national production, economic development and
will improve beneficiaries living conditions.
Major Obstacles
 In Somalia and in many developing countries lack of:
Access to rural credit facilities
Lack of capital
Poor physical
Market Infrastructures
Health care, Peace & Stability
Proper Education
Scarcity of improved planting material
 All were identified as a major obstacle for achieving
self-sufficiency on food.
Democracy & Hunger
 We all certainty agree that Democracy and hunger
cannot go together.
 Therefore, we can strongly affirm that there can be
no place for hunger and poverty in a modern world
in which science and technology have created
conditions for equitable Development.
 This will improve sustainability to increase food
production, assuring freedom from fear and basic
foods for all people at all times
 1980-1991 prior to the civil war.
 Worked in the government as a civil servant (A1)
 Chairman of National Production & General
manager of the largest Agricultural Extension,
training and Farm Management Project in Somalia.
 Establishment of AFMET( Agricultural Farm
Management Extension Training Project)
 Main objective was to increase agricultural production
and farmer income.
Agricultural Farm Management
Extension Training Project
 Establishment of a farm extension service, dissemination
of modern management techniques and enhancing
institutional capacity, that have supported agriculture
development in Somalia, which is an integral part of the
national economic development.
 Science based agricultural research and establishment of 4
Agricultural secondary Schools, and FMETC.
 Established 9 regional extension training centers,
improved facilities at the training centers, increased and
improved training courses expanding field trials
program, supported by provision of teaching aids,
equipment and technical assistance.
Agricultural Extension Service
 Contributed to a change in attitude toward scientific
based farming systems.
 Changed Farmers behaviors
 Increased optimism in the farming system.
 The desire for more investment among the farmers
 Designed and properly implemented activities that
bring women into the main focus agricultural
 Established and effective extension system that
works with more than 200,000 farm families with the
possibilities of meeting every fortnight round a year.
 Documented increase of agricultural production.
 Increase in the income of the small-scale farmers.
 AFMET bestowed Somalia with new technology
and innovation in small scale farm production.
 Benefits of a committed, experienced and well
trained cadre of agricultural extension workers.
Achieved Success
 A pilot program for community development and
seasonal credit facilities was successfully established in
several irrigated and rain-fed areas covered by the
 AFMET designed and implemented community
participatory in technology verification & transfer, in both
irrigated and rain-fed areas.
 The yield of Maize and Sorghum as the main Somalia’s
food have increased by 45%.
 Rice farming was introduced and expanded, and the
yield reached 5 tons per hector.
Achieved Success
 Intercropping for more crop varieties and crop
rotation has been introduced.
 Animal tractions, agro-forestry, beekeeping, home
gardening were also introduced.
 In conclusion, during the Project cycle (Phase 1 & 2) I
worked hard to try to move Somalia toward selfsufficiency with regards to food security.
Plan to make Somalia Recover
 In 1991 when the civil war began, the government
collapsed and the country quickly dissolved into a
state of lawlessness.
 Then AFMET Project’s was reversed and most of the
infrastructures were destroyed or looted.
 Well-trained staff fled the country and dispersed
throughout the region and they can still be a good
resource of information and advice on possible
initiatives that may be planned to make Somalia
rebuild and recover.
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