Somaliland: Improving Genetic Quality of Seeds in Somalia

Improving genetic quality of seeds in Somalia

Somalilandsun: OSRO/SOM/516/EC, known as Somaseed, was a project funded by the European Union and aimed at ‘improving genetic quality of seeds in Somalia’.

The project was signed in December 2015. Implementation started in March 2016 and officially finished in November 2019.

The aim of the project was to ensure Somali communities have increased their food production in a sustainable manner, and are able to restore and maintain their productive capacity when faced with chronic pressure or shocks.

The objective of the project was to enhance the availability and access for small-scale farmers to quality, local adapted maize, rice, cowpea and sorghum seeds.


  1. Capacity building for Ministries of Agriculture staff and other seed sector stakeholders
  2. Construction and rehabilitation of seed sector infrastructure
  3. Crop variety development and regeneration of basic seeds
  4. Farmers’ and agro-dealers’ capacity building and commercial production of certified seeds.
Improving genetic quality of seeds in Somalia

Project Results

  • Women’s participation The Somaseed project involved women at all levels. From lead farmers to agro-dealers, seed growers or ministry officials, women were engaged and played an important role in the project. They represented 30 percent of the participants.
  • 226 seed growers were selected, trained and registered for seed production of maize, rice and sorghum and cowpea.
  • 25 Ministry of Agriculture technical staff participated in a study tour to Kenya.
  • A field day was conducted in Aburiin research centre, a national seed stakeholders meeting in Mogadishu, and a regional seed stakeholder workshop in Addis Ababa.
  • Seed laboratories have been rehabilitated in Mogadishu and Hargeisa.
  • The Ministry of Agriculture was supported with IT equipment and field vehicles.
  • Construction and rehabilitation of seed stores, offices, seed plots and irrigation systems across the country.
  • 40 local land races have been collected, cleaned, multiplied and introduced to commercial production.
  • Seed technology training was organized for Ministry staff in ICRISAT Kenya.
  • Arrangements were made at ICRISAT Kenya and India for genetic finger printing of 40 landraces of different crops from Somalia.
  • Cleaned germplasm of 40 land races from Somalia to be stored in ICRISAT gene banks.
  • Established linkages between Somaseed seed growers and private seed enterprises and agro dealers which will promote business partnership/contract seed production. This element will promote sustainability of seed production even after the project life cycle.
  • Eight farmers organisations across the country have been established and trained in commercial seed production.

Download report in PDF