Over the last decades, Somalia as a whole, and Somaliland and Puntland specifically, have experienced a severe loss of diversity of plant genetic resources. During the civil war, seeds and local varieties got lost as the population fled the regions. Both Somaliland and Puntland lack of policies, strategies and capacity to revert the degradation of agro-biodiversity and other natural resources. None of the regions have clear strategies on the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources, and further erosion of the genetic resources may severely affect the capacity to adapt agricultural production to climate change and ensure food security in the future. Lack of seed security, poor farming conditions and continued erosion of natural resources, severely weakens their livelihood security, and underpins the cycle of poverty in the regions.

The Development Fund supports our local partner in their work to influence seed policies and strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources. We use our experiences from other countries and international policy processes, particularly the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), and build the policy work on practical experiences on the ground to provide inputs on how policies and strategies should be designed to strengthen seed security in the region. The objective is to have seed policies that are coherent with the ITPGRFA, and in particular farmers rights to seeds. If this is adopted in the policy framework and strategies, Somaliland and Puntland have taken important steps towards seed security.