Why Somaliland Dryland Agriculture Research?                        

Livestock herders near the central Somali town of Belet Weyne in the Hiiraan region. Photograph: Stuart Price/AU-UN IST/EPA
Livestock herders near the central Somali town of Belet Weyne in the Hiiraan region. Photograph: Stuart Price/AU-UN IST/EPA


The Aburin Agricultural Station was established as a center of Dryland agricultural research and training during the British rule of Somaliland. Later, during both the civil and military governments of Somalia, Aburin continued to function as an agricultural research and farmer training center. Selection of Aburin as Somaliland’s Dry land agricultural research and training station was based on the following criteria:

  • Location within Somaliland’s prime dry land cropping agro ecological zone with the longest history of cropping. This zone, which includes Maroodijeeh (Hargeisa), Gabiley and Awdal regions, has relatively favorable rainfall and fertile soils suitable for the production of sorghum, maize, millet, and a diversity of legumes and oilseed crops under Rainfed conditions. The three regions of Marodijeh, Gabiley, and Awdal are the food baskets of Somaliland in terms of food grains production as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Additionally, Aburin is close to the three major dry land cropping districts of Somaliland. For example, Aburin is about 30 km from Hargeisa city, 20 km from Gabiley and 75 km from Borama.
  • Because, Aburin is located within the prime dry land cropping zone of Somaliland, results of crop research experiments conducted in Aburin are applicable and relevant to the farming community in this major agro pastoral zone.

The main reasons behind establishing Dryland Agriculture Research Center in Aburin, Somaliland   is to improve agricultural productivity, which is an important catalyst of broader economic growth. The research center has been inoperative for almost one year and half with funds obtained from the Somaliland Development Fund (SDF).  The following are Research conducted at the station:

  • To investigate the performance of improved crop varieties under Rainfed conditions of Aburin
  • To demonstrate the effects of improved production practices on crop yields
  • To investigate the effect of improved plant protection practices on crop yields
  • To investigate the effects of improved soil management practices on crop yields and soil fertility
  • To utilize the trials for staff training.

The center trained the first batch of graduate students (trainees) selected from local universities for Dryland agriculture research and extension. They have   completed their studies and are about to graduate for post graduate Diploma in Dryland Agriculture and Research. They,   together with their supervisors conducted the above mentioned Research and extension programs. 


The Research findings will be published and disseminated to   stakeholders and the community at large to realize the work done.   New knowledge and technology generated from this research will contribute to the ability of farmers to improve production, it also creates opportunities in other sectors, another driver of productivity.  The research will also boost incomes and reducing poverty. However, I cannot deny  the limitations of Agriculture research programs in the areas of funding (internal and external) Motivation and incentives, Strategic planning and direction (especially for the young staff) and possible approaches of research areas starting with understanding on information needs of the clients, future business systems and collaboration with both public and private sectors including to that of non-government organizations to achieve better outcomes as well as engaging communities participation at all levels of the program.


To this end, we need to strengthen competencies and capacity in agricultural research management and capacity for professional development in agricultural research and development and for that a Sustained Agriculture Research funding is a prerequisite for the successful Agriculture Research program.





Abdirahman Ibrahim Abdilahi

Contact : Abdirahman270@gmail.com


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