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Somalia: President, FAO urge investment in food sectors

11/09/2015

Milan, Italy

Somalia National Day celebrated at Milan Expo

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia has called for more investments livestock, fisheries and agriculture sectors to pave way for a peaceful future of the Horn of Africa nation.

President Hassan Sheikh was speaking at the National Day for Somalia at 2015 Milan Expo in Italy, which was attended by hundreds of Somalis who arrived in Milan from across the Milan.

The over-arching theme of 2015 Milan Expo is “Feeding the planet, energy for life”. It opened in May this year, with an aim to address the global need for “healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone, while respecting the planet and its equilibrium.”

“With all its rich resources, Somalia is a country that cab feed its own people and can contribute towards feeding the world,” said President Sheikh Hassan.

Inviting Italian investors, President Hassan Sheikh said with the longest seacoast, a booming livestock and two permanent rivers for irrigated agriculture, Somalia offers formidable investment opportunities.    

Richard Trenchard, the Country Representative of UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization in Somalia, said the Horn of Africa nation is increasingly open for business in general, and foreign investment in particular.

“FAO has been in Somali for the last 40 years, and I’m sure FAO will be there for the next forty.  We have all seen the country slowly getting back on the track of recovery and development in recent times, notwithstanding recurrent crises and challenges,” said Trenchard who spoke at the Business and Investment Forum.

He added: “We have, for example, seen spectacular growth  in live animal exports since Saudi Arabia lifted a livestock export ban in 2009. What we aim at today is to see Somalia export high quality meat and a range of related by-products such as leather.  The agriculture and fisheries sectors display similar strong growth potentials too.  Our common challenge is to translate this potential into reality in the coming years and put increasing money into the pockets of Somali farmers, fisher folk and livestock owners.”

Somalia in 2014 exported a record 5 million livestock to markets in the Gulf of Arabia thanks to heavy investments in animal disease prevention backed by the European Union and the United Kingdom, FAO said today. This is the highest number of live animals exported from Somalia in the last 20 years.

The export data, collected by the FAO-managed Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU), indicates that Somalia exported 4.6 million goats and sheep, 340,000 cattle and 77,000 camels in 2014, worth an estimated $360 million.

The Somalia National Day was organized by Dr. Ibrahim Abdulkadir Hagi, Somalia’s Ambassador to Rome-based UN agencies and supported by FAO, AU-IBAR and the European Union in Somalia.

The Expo 2015 world's fair opened on May 1 for a six-month run with some 145 countries coming together to show their commitment to creating sustainable ways of producing and delivering food across the globe while guaranteeing the safeguard of the planet.