KORE - Plateforme de partage des connaissances sur la résilience

Innovative agriculture, livestock, and natural resource management in Somalia

Gender-sensitive approaches promoted by the Rome-based Agencies Resilience Initiative

From 2017 to 2023, the United Nations Rome-based agencies (RBA) – the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) – implemented a joint initiative funded by Canada aimed at strengthening resilience for food security and nutrition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Niger and Somalia. This joint programme aimed to bridge humanitarian and development objectives and meet immediate food needs while sustainably increasing food security in regions affected by protracted and recurrent crises, with a specific focus on vulnerable women and children.

The objective of this good practice fact sheet is to present the RBA initiative in Somalia and its resilience-building layering and sequencing model of multisectoral interventions, built around traditional and alternative livelihood pathways including kitchen and market gardens, beekeeping husbandry, Prosopis juliflora processing into alternative livestock feed and charcoal as well as natural resource management. In Somalia, the joint RBA initiative combined FAO’s productive sectors elements (water infrastructure, crops, livestock and natural resource management) with WFP’s activities focusing on nutrition support services for malnourished populations, behaviour change and incentives on expanding household diet diversity, knowledge on breastfeeding and complementary feeding among women as well as the provision of nutrition services to prevent diseases.


  • On climate action: The sustainable management of Prosopis is helping pastoralists, agropastoralists and dryland farmers adapt to climate change through the processing of drought-resistant Prosopis tree parts into a variety of products, including livestock feed supplements and charcoal. Prosopis can be defined as a multi-purpose crop. By controlling its harmful effects as an invasive species, and diversifying local incomes, communities and local economies become less vulnerable to climate-related disasters in contexts where severe drought episodes are recurrent. The management of Prosopis enables local groups, focusing on women and youth, to establish a range of commercial activities – from pod collection and milling to charcoal and feed production – that are profitable and self-sustaining. This further promotes linkages between local entrepreneurs and bigger, upstream market actors.
  • On localization: The RBA initiative in Somalia leveraged activities from different agencies to benefit communities. This approach brought complementarity across interventions and partners’ comparative advantages to enhance communities in capacities reducing the risk of disaster, strengthening livelihoods, and building over time. This has resulted in improved involvement and coordination among partners across multiple sectors and multiple line ministries in supporting the targeted communities.
  • On market opportunities: Market garden groups add value to existing production (vegetables under drip irrigation) and generate additional income for women in the groups. The processing and sale of vegetables allow women’s groups to market and sell production collectively in higher value markets. Crop production, diversification and marketing had a positive and significant effect on household food security status. Furthermore, it improved household income by around 15 percent. It is therefore important to improve and upscale the concept of crop diversification, linking it with other programme activities like access to credit and livestock production. In addition, future programming should encourage group formation for learning, better access to markets and more bargaining power.
  • On gender: Kitchen and market gardens increased availability and equitable access to nutritious, diversified and stable food supply, especially for women and children around their homesteads. They also allowed to diversify income and strengthen resilience of women in Burco and Odweyne districts. After the successful completion of the trainings on market gardening, the targeted households were able to apply market gardening as a business, irrigation techniques, soil and water conservation, crop calendar and requirements as well as control of pests and diseases. Moreover, the processing and sale of vegetables allowed women’s groups to market and sell production collectively in higher value markets.
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