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Climate-resilient livelihoods to Boost Food production and Nutrition outcomes (CLIMB)

The agriculture sector has played a critical role in the Somali economy, but remains vulnerable to external shocks, which are likely to intensify due to negative impacts of climate change. The country’s economy is mainly based on traditional, primary productive sectors. Agriculture and livestock remain the main sources of economic activity and account for 60 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product, 80 percent of employment and 90 percent of exports . Although the sector has great potential to increase exports and provide food security, this potential is hampered by low levels of productivity. Key factors include high vulnerability to climate change, insecurity, drought, poor product quality, inadequate skills and capacity of producers, private sector actors, and the government to produce, participate in, and strengthen the trade and production environments . Building resilience to shocks is therefore a priority for encouraging economic growth and job creation, to transform the rural economy and reduce poverty and spatial imbalances. 

Poverty in Somalia is deep and widespread. Somalia remains the second most fragile country in the world according to the Fragile States Index  with the country recurrently affected by devastating natural disasters such as droughts, floods and human-induced shocks (conflict and political instability). Rural livelihoods in Somalia in particular are increasingly vulnerable to effects of climate change and conflict with consistently high populations in Integrated Phase Classification (IPC 3) Crisis or worse season after season, necessitating billions in humanitarian assistance year on year. Recurrent climate-related shocks, mostly drought and floods, combined with conflict, have weakened household resilience. This has often led to vast cohorts of population in need of humanitarian food assistance - up to 6.7 million  in September through December 2022 inclusive of over two million people in IPC 4   and over 300,000 people in IPC Phase 5, as well as chronic displacement of people, with 18 percent of the population being Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Since January 2022, over 1.1 million people have been displaced due to drought, of which more than 80 percent are women and children. 

In addition, gender inequality is perpetuated in the largely patriarchal society, with women and children bearing the brunt of multiple crises disproportionately to men. Their role in the agriculture informal sector is significant (50 percent of the Somalia agricultural labor force is made up of women), yet they lack access to and control of agricultural productive assets. Women are constrained by detrimental gender roles that restrict their active participation in decision-making processes. Women’s continued marginalization has contributed to less food production and therefore heightened food insecurity.  

The agriculture and livestock sectors must improve the food productivity further and diversify more rapidly if Somalia is to ensure food security, improve nutrition outcomes, contribute to greater inclusion, enhance profitability of actors along the high-value agricultural supply chains and adapt to a changing climate condition. Therefore, this project aims to contribute to efforts to improve smallholder farmers and value chain actor’s capacity and access to inputs, water, financial services, post-harvest technologies, and market and crop protection infrastructure to enhance food and nutrition security by boosting food production and improving income generation. The project will consolidate and complement past and ongoing EU project interventions (OUTREACH, PROACT, etc.) in the project locations aimed at enhancing livelihoods, resilience and economic development, through building on and/or covering the gaps where irrigation infrastructure is not well developed to support increased agricultural productivity. To reduce the level of vulnerability to climatic shocks for rural communities across the agriculture and livestock sectors through community-led DRR initiatives, investing in select nutrition-sensitive value chains to enhance quality of produce, promote climate-smart agriculture, improving households’ access to safe and affordable nutritious foods, and improving the market environment to limit households' vulnerability to economic and climate-related shocks. The stabilization efforts will be supported by expanding the geographical scope of coverage to target newly liberated areas (where feasible) with agricultural investments by providing inputs and farm tools as well as through capacity building interventions for both communities and relevant government ministries. This will contribute to increase in resources and peace dividends among communities targeted. Approximately 6,360 households (in Marka, Kismayo and Jowhar) will benefit from this project. The project will also contribute to prevention of malnutrition by strengthening agriculture to nutrition pathways of production, diversifying incomes of women, and equipping participants with knowledge and skills of producing and consuming nutritious foods. 

Project delivery is structured into three outcomes: Outcome 1: Increased agricultural production through improved productivity and improved community productive infrastructure such as irrigation canals (primary, secondary and tertiary ) where FAO will seek ways to promote sustainable food and nutrition security through improved production and enhanced productivity with the objective of intensification and better management of production systems. This will require strong measures to increase climate resilient productivity on one hand and increase input and resource use efficiency on the other. The project will develop Land cover map and riverine agricultural map that will help to understand how to maximize the agricultural productivity and design strategies for climate smart agriculture practices. Outcome 2. Sustainable Value Chain development and strengthening of market linkages to promote income generation will seek opportunities to align the selection of target geographies and activities to strengthen priority value chains, such as, sorghum, maize, cowpea and sesame and establish strong market linkages for income generation. Project beneficiaries will be organized in groups and will be provided with technical and business advisory services on efficient production, compliance with food safety and traceability standards, and assisted with establishing strong market linkages. While the project intends to cover crop and livestock value chains, other value chains targeted by FAO will be aligned in target geographies to enhance synergies. FAO shall aim to increase income for the farmers by promoting formal access to finance and informal savings groups, as well increase the knowledge levels on reducing the cost of cultivation and post-harvest losses and improve agriculture marketing of products. In Outcome 3: Managing climatic and economic shocks to strengthen resilience emphasis will be placed on local level contextualization of DRR and contingency plans so that each group is making a tailored, evidence-based, risk informed plan to reduce likelihood of production/income losses and prioritize investments in future climate resilience production.  Efforts will be made under this project to reduce the risk associated with overuse of Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) and promote Integrated Production and Pest management (IPPM) for pest and diseases affecting the key value chains bringing change in agronomic practices so that reliance on highly hazardous and even slightly hazardous pesticides is greatly reduced and pest management practices are improved. 

FAO shall explore opportunities to create synergies with other partners delivering complementary interventions in the target locations, seek to expand its interventions to newly liberated areas (in collaboration with stabilization actors), capitalizing on resources and to realize a greater impact on the lives of beneficiaries targeted in this project. FAO shall also utilize resources that have been put in place through other previous and/ or ongoing interventions to realize Value for Money for resources employed.