The largest economic sector in the country.
According to the ninth National Development Plan, and estimates available from the World Bank/FAO report Somalia has about 8.9 million hectares of cultivable land of which almost 2.3 million hectares produce or could produce crops under rainfed conditions. The remaining 700,000 hectares could produce crops under pump or recession-controlled irrigation, mainly along the two main rivers, the Shabelle and Jubba although only 110,800 hectares are currently irrigated. This is less than half the 222,950 hectares under irrigation just before the civil war and only about 15 percent of the total potential irrigable land. Almost two-thirds of all cultivable land (rainfed and irrigated) is in the southern parts of the country. As a result of low investments in this sector, millions of hectares remain under cultivated.
Somalia offers opportunities to invest in its farming sector as it is currently heavily import-dependent on food, including raw sugar (14%), rice (5.8%), wheat (3.9%), pasta (3%) and other food related products. Export promotion and increased investment in domestic supply chain development would be attractive for investors. Specifically, SomInvest identified investments in banana, grapefruit, mango, orange, lemon, lime, guava, papaya, water melon, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, peppers, cabbage, pulses, maize, rice, sesame and date palm as potentially high rate of return farming activities. Figure 8 shows the composition of import commodities, and dependence on food imports. However, Farming continues to be an important economic sector as it currently accounts for about a quarter of overall employment, the second largest export and also plays an important role in meeting the domestic food demand.
Investment Opportunities in farming:
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