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A market appraisal conducted by Farm Concern International (FCI) has revealed that although traders in Somaliland prefer to buy produce from Somaliland, they end up buying from Ethiopia because the volumes produced in Somaliland are too little to meet the existing demand. One critical finding of the research was that all crop produce apart from onions were sourced from Ethiopia despite the fact that traders preferred buying commodities at home. This means that there exist tremendous markets opportunities in Somaliland which need to be utilized with proper facilitation of smallholder farmers to enhance them penetrate to the market and benefit so as to improve their livelihoods.

Source: FAO & Farm concern International, 2013.

The market appraisal targeted three regions where the Rural Commercialization project (RuCom) is being implemented by FCI and supported by FAO Somalia. The three regions analyzed were Awdal, Togdheer and Gabiley region which also encompasses Maroodijeex, an area around Hargesia. 

The five markets selected were Central market, Ahmed Guray, Guri hadhuudhka, Gobanimo and Gabiley. These markets moved a total of 5,752,286Kgs of commodities a year, with a market value of USD 4,276,458. This was through the sale of maize, carrots, onions, tomatoes, cabbages, barley, Irish potatoes and yellow melon which earned farmers USD 2,614,638.3 annually.

In addition, FCI and FAO through the RuCom programme are promoting collective action through Structured Farmer Organizations. There have been effective forums held between buyers and sellers that have resulted to market linkages and opportunities for business transactions. The forums were held in the villages where the farmer organizations bulk various commodities for market. 

These forums provided an opportunity for the farmers to learn about various specifications of quality, quantity and varieties demanded by traders as they purchased the commodities. Farmer organizations were encouraged to practice production scheduling to meet the specific buyer demands so that there would be supply not only within the conventional harvest times but throughout the season.

As a result, in January 2014, Qahir Bahar Cooperative Farmer Organization and Borwaaqo Cooperative and Trade association signed a buyer-seller agreement for the supply of onions, tomatoes and water melons.

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FCI VISION :Commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond.