Somalia: Hargeisa Milk Industry Gets Boost From EU Grant

ALL AFRIKA

Hargeisa — Milk traders and local officials in Hargiesa have welcomed a grant worth 4 million euros ($5.4 million) from the European Union and partner agencies to improve food security and increase milk production in the Somaliland region.

The initial phase of the project is limited to Hargeisa, Somaliland Minister of Livestock and Development Abdi Aw Dahir Ali said at the project’s opening event on November 25th, attended by representatives from the EU and implementing organisations.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) will provide an additional $400,000, and is implementing the project with Nairobi-based partner organisation International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), he said.

“The project will have a secondary phase that will extend it to the other regions,” Ali said. “It is a chain production of milk, animal healthcare, milking equipment, transportation, containers for marketing and cooling equipment.”

To meet increasing demand, the Somaliland region currently imports the majority of its milk as powdered milk, according to the FAO Somalia. The project aims to increase local milk production from camels and cattle to produce 80% of consumption needs.

In the first phase of the three-year project, a milk production plant will be opened in Hargeisa that will provide markets with canned milk, said veterinary doctor Abdi Osman Haji Abdi, a consultant for the joint FAO and ICIPE project.

The project will provide direct small-scale funds to about 40 co-operatives and will facilitate the construction of a sales plant in Gobanimo market, which is one of the largest markets for milk, Abdi told Sabahi. The project will also help the government in the creation of the dairy milk law, which will be important in managing milk production, he said.

About 30,000 litres of milk is brought into Hargeisa each day, Abdi said, while 70% of the milk used in Somaliland is imported powdered milk.

“This project will support all the value chain actors in the milk sector and will provide a boost for employment creation in Somaliland,” said EU Special Envoy to Somalia Michele Cervone d’Urso at the launch of the project. “We expect the initiative to increase the income of 1,000 pastoralists and agro-pastoralists communities. It will also allow more than 50,000 households to have access to hygienic milk.”