The dry climate makes it very difficult to be a farmer in Somalia and Puntland. Increased prevalence of drought has also made it more difficult for livestock, and the regions’ pastoralists are increasingly being forced to find alternative ways of securing their livelihood. Many pastoralists are moving into agro-pastoralism, and combine livestock with agriculture production. Poor soil conditions, scarce water resources and lack of knowledge of sustainable agriculture and techniques are some of the challenges they face. In addition, moving into agriculture also involves a change from the traditional way of living.
To improve food and nutrition security for pastoralist and agro-pastoralist communities, the Development Fund provides training in sustainable agriculture to increase the production. We test and introduce new crops to diversify the production. The methods are adopted to local conditions and we follow-up the farmers when they start implementing new techniques on their plots. We also support fodder production, which is particularly important because of scarcity of grazeland. We also train some selected community members in basic veterinary services to become animal health workers. This enables us to reach out to a large number of animals for vaccination and treatment of diseases.
Our main approach to nutrition goes through increased availability of diverse food. By diversifying the production, more food groups are available for the households. In pastoralist communities, livestock is crucial for nutrition, and improved livestock management will increase the availability of milk or other sources for animal protein. Better nutrition depends not only on the availability of a diversified diet, but also requires information and awareness, among other things. Awareness raising and information on nutrition is therefore an important part of our work.