Somalia | Mobile money transfers give Somali farmers a one-up on the climate

Somalia | Mobile money transfers give Somali farmers a one-up on the climate


2019 in Somalia started with a dry spell that resulted in the southern area’s worst cereal harvest since 1995. For 21-year-old Madino, who lives with her three children, husband and grandmother in a village in Lower Shabelle region, the consequences were dire. By August, Madino’s family no longer had food stocks to eat nor seeds to plant. 

Like many farmers in this region, Madino’s family doesn’t own the land they farm on. This rented farm in the riverine area is often at the mercy of the climate and relies on irrigation from the Shabelle river.  

A new Deyr planting season (October‒December) was fast approaching and their financial straits were only worsening. Faced with no other options, they considered selling two of the four goats and sheep they owned, a desperate move that would lead to further poverty. 

Integrated cash and livelihood assistance (Cash+) 

It was then, however, that Madino learned about FAO’s integrated cash and livelihood assistance (Cash+) programme, funded by the European Union.

FAO’s cash-based programmes offer immediate relief to farmers when they can no longer buy the food or the agricultural inputs they need. Mobile money transfers and electronic vouchers enable farming families to purchase the goods and services they need most in community markets, supporting local economies. The programme also strengthens the resilience of peoples’ livelihoods to future shocks by providing training in climate-smart farming practices, which increase agricultural production and improve food security and nutrition in the longer run.