Description of plantation resources
The forestry sector plays an important role in domestic life as a supplier of forest products such as fuelwood and construction materials. Fuelwood meets 90 percent of the energy requirements of the country. This causes high demand on limited forest resources. Demand is increasing due to an increasing population (Hussein and Abdi, 1998).
Development of forest plantations
The first attempt to grow trees in the country was carried out in 1925 (FAO, 1990). Later, during the early 1950s, some tree planting was carried out on several agricultural areas along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers, primarily for ornamental and/or experimental purposes (FAO, 1981 and Hussein and Abdi, 1998).
The plantation area established until March 1986 was 3 345 ha plus some 1 800 km of shelterbelts and windbreaks. Some 3.6 million seedlings were distributed for amenity and agroforestry plantations (FAO 1990).
Prior to the civil war, the government strategy and policies in the forestry sector had the objective of promoting active public participation in reforestation efforts (Hussein and Abdi, 1998).
A large number of species have been tried and proven suitable for several purposes and in several regions. For example, in the northern region on sand dunes the following are planted: Conocarpus lancifolius, Casuarina equisetifolia, Acacia spp., Opuntia spp., Euphorbia spp. and Commiphora spp. On irrigated farmland in the southern region, Casuarina equisetifolia, Eucalyptus spp., Parkinsonia aculeata and Prosopis spp. are planted (FAO, 1990).
Plantation programmes, other tree-planting activities and conservation measures such as sand dune fixation are priority areas (Hussein and Abdi, 1998).
Attempts have been made to establish irrigated plantations. However, the plans were abandoned and the project halted because of high production and plantation costs, the unavailability of water and land ownership conflicts (FAO, 1990 and Hussein and Abdi, 1998).
FAO. 1981. Forest Resources of Tropical Africa. In Tropical Forest Resources Assessment Project, Part II. Rome.
FAO. 1990. Tropical Forestry Action Plan, Somalia, 2 (A). Rome.
Hussein, Y.M. & Abdi, M.D. 1998. Forest Situation in Somalia. In Workshop for data collection and analysis for sustainable forest management in ACP Countries. Nakuru, Kenya, 12-16 December, EC-FAO Partnership Programme, GCP/INT/679/EC.