Horn of Africa: Agriculture

International Development written question – answered on 17th October 2011.

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Photo of Lindsay Roy Lindsay Roy Labour, Glenrothes

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what measures his Department is taking to improve the productivity and resilience of domestic agriculture in the Horn of Africa.

Photo of Andrew Mitchell Andrew Mitchell The Secretary of State for International Development

In Ethiopia, DFID's investment to the agriculture sector focuses mainly on building the capacity of Ethiopian Government agricultural implementing agencies. For example, DFID supports the Ethiopian Government's Household Asset Building Programme, which improves the capacity of microfinance institutions in providing access to credit for some of the poorest farmers in Ethiopia. To date, 2,300 households have benefitted. DFID investments in the Protection of Basic Services and the Productive Safety Net Programme are also building the capacity of the agricultural extension workers in the crop production, livestock, and natural resource management and contribute to improving the natural resource base of smallholder farmers. Over five million smallholder farmers received this support. In addition, through DFID's humanitarian programme, 26,000 households received seeds and fertilizer, and 9,000 obtained animal health care support.

In Somalia, DFID supports the Food and Agriculture Organisation/World Bank implemented SEEDS (Sustainable Employment and Economic Development Somalia) programme, which is currently operational in Somali land and plans to expand into the severe affected areas of Puntland. SEEDS will directly lead to the creation of about 45,000 jobs, improvements in the investment climate and additional market-related investment. Due to agriculture and related trade being the mainstay of the Somali economy, almost all these jobs will be in agriculture directly or agriculture-related.

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