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
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
Abdirahman Ibrahim Abdilahi
Contact : Abdirahman270@gmail.com