As Somalia transitions from more than three decades of conflict to partial stability in many parts of the country, there is an opportunity for sustainable development. The national stocks of natural resources (fertile soil, livestock, fisheries, minerals, oil and gas) hold opportunities not only to improve living standards and food security for the population of nearly 16 million,1 but also to provide a platform for advancing human capacity in trades, skills and technologies.
However, decades of conflict, recurrent droughts and floods that have internally displaced millions, coupled with weak governance have undermined Somalia’s human capital and state effectiveness. This has compromised delivery of basic social services such as healthcare and education, impeded legitimate revenue collection efforts and allowed corruption and illegal taxation throughout the country. As a result, the private sector and economic growth have been severely underdeveloped. In the absence of strong coordination and effective investment in capacity development, any current gains or hopes for future reform initiatives are in danger of reversal. Pervasive human capacity gaps present a threat to ownership, scaling up and the sustainability of efforts and results.
This baseline study seeks to understand skills development in the agriculture and livestock industry; the availability of existing training and whether it meets the needs of the marketplace; challenges affecting human capital development in agriculture; and the key assets and resources for skills development in the sector. The research also identifies key stakeholders, partners and processes influencing human capital development in the sector.
The Somali Agriculture Technical Group (SATG) developed tools for the study and briefed field enumerators prior to conducting consultations with stakeholders, including academic institutions (agriculture and livestock), students, federal and state ministries, the private sector, NGOs and professional associations. Data gathered from various stakeholders was compiled and analyzed following standardized procedures.
Findings specifically relate to existing agriculture and livestock skills development, knowledge value chain mapping and skills needs for the sector to reach its potential. This study is one component of a wider baseline study that will inform a national human capital development strategy, which is linked to the National Development Plan (NDP-9).
From June to December 2019, a sample consisting of faculty, staff and students from a total of 18 academic institutions with majors in agriculture and animal science were interviewed. These institutions are located in Benadir/Mogadishu (7), Puntland (3), South West (3), Hirshabelle (3), Galmudug (1) and Jubaland (1).
Only one of the 18 institutions is public (Somali National University) while the others are privately owned.
One-hundred-and eight-five faculty and staff members were interviewed in 17 of the 18 institutions. Only 11 (6%) reported receiving a PhD, while 111 (60%) reported receiving an M.Sc. Half of the 18 institutions (9 of 18) had fewer than 10 faculty and staff in agriculture and animal science, and six of the 18 institutions had fewer than five faculty and staff. The total number of students graduating from these institutions each year is 400-500. Approximately 86% of students are male and 14% are female. Twenty percent of the 78 students interviewed reported that the quality of education was “poor” and this percentage was higher at institutions outside Mogadishu.
About 176 employees of federal or state ministries of agriculture and livestock were interviewed. Of these, 157 (89%) are male and the remaining 11% are female. Both federal and state ministries reported that 87% of the students graduating from university are not proficient in the field of agriculture and livestock.