26 August 2022

The Seeds Sown by Türkiye in 2012 Became a Life Line to Somali Agriculture

The Agricultural School, which was built by Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) and the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH) in 2012 and was transformed into a university, has revived agricultural activities in Somalia.

The school was opened as the “Somali Agricultural School” in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, and transformed into the “Somali Anatolian Faculty of Agriculture.” Then, it has become a private university called “ZamZam,” which is now a hub for agricultural education in the country.

Many of the school’s more than 2,000 graduates are engaged in farming and have pioneered the construction of new greenhouses, inspired by the school. While there were no greenhouses in the country when the agricultural school opened, nearly 200 greenhouses have been built across the country. The university has launched layer poultry courses with Atak-S chickens brought from Türkiye. Vegetable trials are conducted in the greenhouses using cucumber, pepper, tomato, and aubergine seeds from Antalya, in order to identify the best vegetables for the country and promote their widespread cultivation. Students learn the most appropriate irrigation techniques and how to use different agricultural tools. The newly-established Seed Research Institute at ZamZam University has launched efforts to produce the best seeds for the country.

Seeds come from Antalya

Osman Abdul Rashid Hussein, who earned a master’s degree in Türkiye after graduating from the Agricultural School and later became a research assistant at ZamZam University, described the progress of the project over the years. Hussein noted that he was one of the first students in the project. He said, “There was no greenhouses in the country when the school started teaching students. The Somalis started to build greenhouses when they saw this school.” Hussein stated that the most productive vegetables for the country’s soil resources are identified in the greenhouse, and that they were making effort to ensure that both farmers and students benefit from the training field there. Hussein stressed that 2,240 students, who were on a scholarship, have graduated from the school until now, and that only Turkish seeds from Antalya were used in the school. Hussein noted that cucumber, pepper, aubergine, and tomato crops were the most productive ones.

Hussein stated that hundreds of greenhouses were built in Afgooye, where the country’s most fertile lands are located. He added that greenhouse farming is of great importance for the country due to the drying up of rivers and inadequate rainfall. He said that drip irrigation is used in the greenhouses, and that those who learned how to farm in these greenhouses worked in new farms in their own regions.

1300 eggs are produced every day at the farm set up by TİKA

TİKA built a poultry farm with a total floor space of 198 sq. and provided the farm with 1200 ATAK-S layer chicks, a species created in Türkiye, various pieces of equipment; vaccines; and feeders. Furthermore, Assoc. Prof. Serdar Kamanlı from the Directorate of Poultry Research Institute in Ankara trained academics and specialists in order to share Türkiye’s knowledge of poultry. Hasan Mohamoud Hasan, Head of the Directorate of Poultry Care at the university, stated that they started layer poultry farming with 1200 chickens from Ankara. He noted that they collected nearly 1300 eggs every day. He added that even though heat stress had negative effects on egg production, the “Atak-S” chickens were easily adapting to the climate. Hasan stressed that those who would like to engage in egg production in Somalia attend this university and they aim to put an end to foreign dependency. Students of the university have the chance to learn vegetable farming and irrigation techniques and to different agricultural tools.

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