The Significance of agriculture policy towards development

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Agricultural policy describes a set of policies or laws relating to domestic agriculture and imports of foreign agricultural products. Governments usually implement agricultural policies with the goal of achieving a specific outcome in the domestic agricultural product markets for the benefit of farming community and the nations’ economy at large.

Agricultural policies take into consideration the  value chain which starts with the preparation of  production of a  primary commodity and ends with the consumption of the final product and it includes all the economic activities undertaken between these phases such as: primary production, for instance,  all processes of soil cultivation, crop establishment, fertilization, crop protection, harvesting and secondary like  manufacturing or processing of goods which provides  value addition to agricultural products, creating facilities for primary processing, delivery, and  also activities performed during  tertiary such as service sector  wholesaling, retailing and banking.

Analyzing value chain provide favorable agriculture policies encompassing everything from primary production sector- Secondary sector and tertiary sector.   Policies are important in providing guidelines and directions to be followed in improving domestic agriculture production, and thus reduce poverty. It also helps farmers to use improved inputs. Policies also help commercialization of small holder agriculture and increased value addition.

However, it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture and Development to produce policies, rules and regulations governing the importations, supply, use and quality of any input imported for agricultural purpose and will help to oversee development of agricultural sector in Somaliland which has been in existence for over 25 years, but still lacks coherent national agricultural policy (s), rules and regulations.

The Ministry of Agriculture Development should ensure coordination mechanism among stakeholders in the sector including among others, private sector, international aid organizations and other governmental bodies have a comprehensive policies in place.

Therefore, after the essential policies are established, it will guide the Ministry of Agriculture Development and other stakeholders in the sector. It will allow sector stakeholders to engage in productive and profitable sartorial activities while at the same time ensuring that the interest and wellbeing of the general public are adequately addressed and protected.

Objectives of Any Agriculture Institution

To improve  capacity of the  institution, departments and relevant sectors

To Improve the  technological infrastructure needed to support services

To establish policy framework, viable National Agriculture Strategic Plan, Action plan, monitoring, and evaluation Programme.

To develop human resources at  at all levels within the institution

Modernizing existing institutions and supporting them in forming sound policy framework, organizational structures, terms of reference for individuals of departments and sectors and effective methods of management

Develop relevant programmes to enhance management skills

Improve  Coordination  w2ithin the institution and stake holders in the sector

Key Policy Issues

Food security and nutrition development

Manage pest and diseases problems

Improving farmers access to new technology and planting methods

Institutional capacity building and human resource development

Sustainable Watershed management

Infrastructure, marketing, trade and investment development

Strengthening agriculture Research and extension services

Seed production , processing and storage

Improving farmers access to new technology

Post-harvest handling and technology

Agriculture Cooperatives

Improving information collection, analysis, storage and dissemination

Irrigation to introduce stability in agricultural output

Commercialization and intensification of production especially among small scale farmers

The key areas of policy concern, therefore, include:

Increasing agricultural productivity and incomes, especially for small-holder farmers.

Emphasis on irrigation to reduce over-reliance on rain-fed agriculture in the face of limited high potential agricultural land.

Encouraging Commercialization diversification and intensification of production into non-traditional agricultural commodities and value addition to reduce vulnerability.

Enhancing the food security and a reduction in the number of those suffering from hunger and hence the achievement of MDGs.

Encouraging private-sector-led development of the sector.

Strengthening Research Extension and information dissemination

Appropriate and participatory policy formulation and environmental Sustainability

Ensuring environmental sustainability.

Formulated and approved sector policies

According to the Constitution of the Republic of Somaliland, agriculture, livestock, fisheries, myrrh and gum are all indigenous economic production activities of the country, and therefore, the state should encourage them.

The below documents was prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture development with funding from the European Union in 2008.  However, despite of the high importance given to the sector in the Constitution, there are no parliament-approved legal framework, but a draft document and have not been enacted or implemented, as presented in the following:

 

Somaliland Food and Water Security Strategy  Passed in 2014

Land Resources Tenure and Agricultural Land Use                                      In draft form

National Agricultural Policy    – In draft form

Master Plan for Reconstruction and Development of Somaliland Agriculture           In draft form

Agriculture Rule and Regulation In draft form

Regards,

Abdirahman Ibrahim Abdilahi

Contact : Abdirahman270@gmail.com

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