Farmers in Gedo, Somalia being risk informed

SomReP’s new Chief of Party, Kevin Mackey, visited Dayah village along the Dawa river in Gedo region to meet with Ali Faqid, a farmer, to listen how the current agricultural season is progressing.  The drought has ended and southern Somalia enjoying its first decent rains in two years.  With funding from DANIDA, SomReP partners DRC and COOPI have been working ten farming communities, introducing them to good agricultural practice, providing watermelon, cowpeas, maize and sorghum seeds, facilitating the formation of farmers’ groups, building the capacity of village-level institutions, such as Village Savings and Loans Associations and Village, Development, Relief, and Early Warning committees.

Under a tarpaulin structure in the a driving rain, Ali explains how the Dayah Early Warning committee has kept him updated on the progress of the river levels, detailing how he has held back transplanting his onion seedlings from the nursery to the farm because of flood warnings.  COOPI field coordinators regularly communicate the latest FEWS-NET/SWALIM rainfall information to Early Warning Committee focal points in the Dayah villages who are also in contact with riverine communities as far as 120 km upstream, monitoring rainfall and river levels and passing this information on to farmers like Ali, allowing him to make risk-informed decisions regarding how to manage his farm.

Mr. Faqid notes that his onion seedlings are outgrowing their nursery and if not transplanted in the next day or two, will have to be pulled out.  Ali is not discouraged though.  He points to his tarpaulin structure, noting, “this is hope.”  “I am still out here, sleeping every night, ready to put in my crop.  I am in contact with the Early Warning Committee and know what is happening with the river.  If I get a chance, I will get something out of this season.”  Equipping farmers with information to make risk-informed decisions is just one way SomReP partners are helping to build more resilient farming communities in Somalia

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