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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

Talks with Somalia’s Agriculture Minister on joint cooperation to support agriculture and rural development

Minister Hussein: “Agriculture is the backbone of Somalia’s economy and livelihoods”

13 July 2017, Rome - FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today met Somalia’s Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation, Said Hussein lid, for talks on joint cooperation to support agriculture and rural development.

“We have had a very good discussion on the cooperation between FAO and Somalia,” the Minister said in remarks following the meeting. “We continue to have a very professional relationship with FAO. Our discussion was focused on how to improve the relationship between FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture and how to improve the implementation of FAO projects in Somalia,” he added.

Agriculture accounts for 65-70% of Somalia’s GDP. The majority of its population live in rural areas and livestock such as goats, camels, sheep and cattle are their main source of food and income. 

“We have requested FAO to increase its operations and interventions in Somalia especially in the agricultural sector which is the backbone of Somalia’s economy and livelihoods,” the Minister said, noting that FAO is one of the UN agencies which has continuously supported the country since its independence in 1960

FAO Director General stressed the need to prepare and develop investment proposals in priority areas identified by the government. “FAO is ready and, in collaboration with the concerned ministries, will directly support the government’s efforts to improve food security, combat hunger and address poverty,” he said.  

During his two-day visit to FAO, Minister Hussein also met with several technical teams, including water, agriculture and resilience experts.

He also held talks with FAO’s Deputy Director-General for Programmes, Daniel Gustafson, and FAO’s Strategic Programme Leaders.

FAO’s support to the country

Through its Country Programme Framework (CPF), FAO is supporting Somalia with a combination of agricultural policy support and humanitarian response.

Through the Famine Prevention and Drought Response Plan, FAO is delivering large-scale, strategic combinations of assistance to prevent famine in Somalia. In addition to livestock treatments, this includes giving rural families cash for food purchases, helping communities rehabilitate agricultural infrastructure, and providing farmers with vouchers for locally-sourced seeds along with tractor services that reduce their labour burden.  

FAO is also pushing forward with a massive campaign that has so far treated more than 12 million animals in less than three months, protecting the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of families who rely on their livestock's meat and milk for survival. 

Watch the Minister's remarks following the meeting: