Qabri-bahar Cooperative collapsed due to war and 300 households who had invested in the cooperative lost all their investments. Now 22 years later, the cooperative has not only adopted commercialization and market access but has also invested in a sugar processing plant factory. Qabri-bahar Cooperative has a market-led production informed by FCI Value Chain Analysis for staples and horticulture targeting domestic markets. This has been made possible through the Somalia Rural Commercialization Programme implemented by Farm Concern International, FCI and Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO supported by European Union (EU).
This story of redemption began in February 2013 when Nur Ainan, one of the Qabri-bahar Cooperative members was trained at the FAO/FCI two-week training held in Hargesia, under the RUCOM Program in Somaliland. Nur then went back to the elders in the village and educated them on the need for a commercialization initiative. The group unanimously decided to invest their cumulative savings in a bigger production, the sugar processing enterprise.
While in Hargesia, Nur had linked up with members from Somaliland Business Fund (SBF), a grant body by World Bank that provides financial services. The cooperative applied for a grant and were funded USD 110,000 that enabled them to construct the sugar factory and purchase equipment.
The members of the cooperative had saved up USD 120,000 that they topped up on the World Bank grant of USD 110,000 from SBF. The savings have been cumulated for over five years with each member contributing as per their ability. The benefits of the factory shall be shared depending on the contributions made per member.
Currently they are preparing to plant sugarcane on 100 hectares of land so as to multiply the seed to increase the land under cultivation. The cooperative is currently supporting 500 Households in Tuurka village in Awdal region. They are cultivating a farm that is about 6km long by 3km wide having increased the land under cultivation also following the Rural Commercialization training held in February 2013. The land is estimated to be 1,800 Hectares. The group utilizes four canals constructed by FAO-Somalia that cover over 4 km each to water the vast acreage of land.
Commercialization is being actualized by this cooperative whose main markets are Hargesia and Djibouti. This has been achieved through the market led production which has enabled the marketing committee to identify the market needs and supply according to the commodities demanded.
The cooperative meets monthly to plan and organize the various production schedules for the groups. The enterprises in focus are tomatoes, onions, maize, sorghum, sweet melon and watermelon. Qabri-bahar cooperative is also working with Borwaaqo- Hodan a nearby FFS group on MIS to liaise on prices as well as traders; this is due to linkages established and the need for ensuring price uniformity in the region.
FCI VISION : To have commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond