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Donation Funnel
Islamic Relief staff member talking to beneficiary in crop field

Supporting Somali farmers towards a better harvest

Agriculture is the largest contributor to Somalia’s economy and a major source of employment, but in recent years many farmers have found themselves unable to earn a living.

The continuous drought that afflicted Somalia between 2018 and 2022, as well as a lack of basic agricultural equipment, such as quality seeds, fertiliser, farm machinery and harvesting equipment, have kept agricultural yields precariously low.

Despite living near the Shabelle River, many farmers in the Lower Shabelle region in southern Somalia rely on rainwater for farming due to a lack of irrigation facilities. The endless wait for rain has made crop cultivation almost impossible, leaving huge numbers of farmers unable to provide for the basic needs of their families.

Helping farmers to expand production

Yarow, a 55-year-old father of 8 children, is a farmer in Marerey village, 30 kilometres south of Mogadishu. He used to earn a living growing crops to sell at the local market – papaya, onions, tomatoes, salads, lemons, watermelon and more – but like many farmers in the region, his farm has not been cultivated for several years due to drought and a lack of finance to buy seeds and equipment to irrigate and plough the land.

Yarow has been working to rehabilitate canals to improve water access for himself and other local farmers 

Islamic Relief’s Strengthening Last Miles through Innovative Livelihood Enterprise (SMILE) project is a response to this agricultural crisis. The project aims to support farmers in a series of villages in the Lower Shabelle region to expand their productive capacity and become self-sufficient.

Many of those benefiting from the project are established farmers, like Yarow, who possess the knowledge of how to cultivate crops, but have been hit hard by Somalia’s changing climate and the resulting food insecurity.

The project provides farmers with high-quality seeds and farm tools, as well as installing solar systems, rehabilitating canals and providing additional training to help farmers maximise yields.

17,000 small-scale farmers supported to become self-sufficient

Yarow is now once again able to farm his land. He has rehabilitated his canals and is earning an income with which to support his family.

“We are so happy to receive this support and thank the donors and Islamic Relief for their wonderful assistance. The irrigations are very expensive and we cannot pay the cost. We wish that we will harvest more crops [thanks to] your brotherly support.”

Yarrow is one of 17,000 farmers supported by the SMILE project to become self-sufficient. But there are vast numbers of vulnerable farmers and their families still in need of assistance.

Your support can help transform lives and lay the foundations for the Somali people to emerge from many years of crisis. Please donate now to help farmers like Yarow get back on their feet and provide for their families.

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