Agriculture in Somaliland has not seen any improvements since its inception. Farmers do not follow scientific lines in order to produce maximum yield from limited land and for instances the preparations for environmental conditions suitable for optimum crop growth is inadequate and in the ensuing germination is reduced and crop yield is decreased due to the inadequate tilling, lack of soil fertility enhancement and many others regarding crop productivity is missing for instance agronomic practices such as plant to plant distance, row to row distances as recommended per crop, if we do not respect the aforementioned then, our local productions will remain less and less until zero productions are achieved. Weeds are also another issue that require the attention of the farmers because it impacted the yield of the crops. To minimize the risks associated with weeds, we must prevent them to enter into the farms, control using environmentally friendly pesticides and reduce the growth of weeds making sure that they are no longer a threat to crop productions.
Eventhough pests reduce crop yields, pesticides are not the only options to control the pests. There are other techniques to combat pests. The use of the pesticide requires efficient government policy aimed at controlling pesticide import, use, application and means to dispose them off safely. There is a need to transform stakeholder’s knowledge regarding crop production technologies and crop improvements methods, improving services for the farmers including quality input for the farmers, water harvesting technologies (Water pan) to access water for use in the farm all year round even in the times of drought,
Crop production is largely rain-driven, which means that lesser yields are expected whenever rains fail, come at the wrong time or when heavy rains cause flooding. The answer to this inconsistency is irrigation driven agriculture but large irrigation projects come at a higher cost and are, in most cases, unsuitable in Somaliland context and is also unlikely to benefit the small-scale farmer in Somaliland as we do not have rivers to draw water.
Farm machinery are also important as it increases farm productivity, minimize the cost and reduces the time to perform the tasks but the disadvantage of using farm machinery is that is that the initial cost for purchasing the machinery is high. Government policy is required in this field addressing raising accessibility of farmers to powered machinery. We need also to address the following technologies necessary for improving the country agriculture and that is to say introducing high yielding and adaptable crop varieties into the country. It is also in the need of the hour to set up soil laboratory in the country to analyze soil for free at least for few years or till farmers are adapting to the system and are able to take soil samples from their farms to the lab for soil analyses. Soil analyses tells the farmers the discrepancy between the existing soil fertility levels and to that amount of nutrients needed to fill the gap.
Therefore, given above mentioned gaps, Somaliland needs the agriculture technology transfer and innovation.
Abdirahman Ibrahim Abdialhi