Programme Index Listing

Main implementer
Other implementers
Forcier Consulting, Somali Agricultural Technology Group
DFID (83%), DANIDA (17%)
2015 - 2019
Total budget
USD $18.3 million
Annual budget
USD $4.5 million
External links
Pathways to economic growth

Project description / objective

Stimulate growth of the private sector by supporting measures to deliver long term job creation and ultimately reduce poverty.

Using an MSD methodology, with an integrated Cash for Work (CfW) component, it sought to address market failures in three sectors (with cross-cutting light manufacturing inputs):

  • dairy
  • sesame
  • ocean fisheries

Market systems focus


Dairy production directly involves tens of thousands of low to middle income Somalis, especially women and particularly in Somaliland and Puntland.

Despite its growth and inclusion of many low and middle-income Somali’s, PIMS market research revealed that the growth of the dairy sector is constrained by poor production and handling practices, lack of access to value adding inputs, degraded infrastructure and a weak enabling environment


Sesame production has a long history in Somalia and is grown by an estimated 220,000 female and male farmers across several regions, with over 100,000 hectares (ha) of arable land.

Despite civil unrest, recurrent droughts and low processing capacity, sesame production and export has thrived over recent years; an indication that the sesame sector is resilient. However, the industry has been affected by extremely low yields (as low as 0.1 Metric Tonne (MT) in some areas), limited processing capacity and knowledge, a poor understanding of requirements and weak linkages to higher value markets. Before PIMS’s interventions, less than 40 per cent of the cultivatable land was in use and average yields ranged between 250-300 kgs per ha.

Ocean fisheries

Traditionally, Somalia has had a dominant livestock tradition contributing up to 40 per cent of GDP. It is the largest rural employer.

However, changing tastes has increased the importance of the fishing industry with an increase in domestic, regional and international demand. Despite its potential, sustainable growth in the Somali fishing sector is threatened by illegal fishing, poor fishing and handling practices, poor infrastructure and a challenging political economy.

Programme interventions


Animal health

  • Establish networks of knowledge retailers and community animal health workers who are able to promote and sell quality vet drugs to a larger number of small scale customers, improving health of animals and yields of milk
  • Increase supply and sales of quality vet drugs through strengthened distribution networks that incentivise actors all the way to the community animal health system - vets and Community Animal Health Workers (CAHW)
  • Stimulate demand for quality vet drugs through demonstrations, promotions and awareness-raising via Agrovet Dealers (AVDs) and vet service providers
  • Introduction of new milk handling (such as containers) and nutrition products (such as feed supplements and vitamins)

Quality milk

  • Reduction of milk spoilage by the introduction and sales of appropriate milk cans
  • Promotion of more sustainable adoption practices (such as awareness raising for consumers, producers, retailers, transporters and other concerned stakeholders) to improve milk hygiene quality and limit milk spoilage and losses
  • Inaugurate a dedicated commercial transport link between milk producers and market actors by starting with number of milk collection points and then expanding to entire routes


  • Establish an out-grower system for the improved fodder production and improve lead firm’s fodder production capacity with an improved irrigated system
  • Establish a retail and distribution system for fodder sales to pastoralists in areas surrounding lead firm
  • Stimulate demand for quality fodder in current operational territories and new territories
  • Increase milk revenues for pastoralists utilising purchased fodder


Improved Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)

  • Strengthen and expand a network of smallholder suppliers for the direct supply of quality sesame.
  • Identify strategies and opportunities for greater input use among farmers

Market linkages

  • Strengthen product knowledge and marketing capacities to grow lead firm’s business in supplying local markets and capitalise on opportunities to export into the international markets
  • Improve the company’s market linkages, value addition activities and company quality management systems in the sesame sector

Infrastructure improvements

  • Rehabilitation of canals for the network of smallholders to increase irrigation and future crop growth

Ocean Fisheries

Post-harvest value addition

  • Increase quantity and quality of fish through investment in fish post-harvest loss reduction technologies
  • Build the capacity of market actors on fish value addition through frying and filleting
  • Expand local market of value-added fish

Good handling practices

  • Mainstream best practice for fish handling, processing and packaging in the fish value chain to reduce post-harvest losses and increase export volumes
  • Support investment in fish storage and transportation facilities
  • Finalise construction of a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) facility to necessitate exports of high-quality fish to the international market

Notable results (systemic change, poverty impact)


There has been a shift in behaviour of milk producers and handlers demonstrated by a 21 per cent increase in use of aluminium cans and a 17 per cent reduction in use of plastic containers between 2016 to 2019. Milk packaged in hygienic aluminium milk cans attracts a premium price of $1.2 per litre as opposed to $0.8 per litre which translates to an additional income of $0.4 for every litre of milk sold.


  • During the 2017 drought PIMS shifted their Cash for Work (CfW) activities to focus on canal rehabilitation for the Sesame sector as an adaptation to the conditions and to provide a humanitarian response
  • Canal rehabilitation proved to be the most productive support to the sesame sector. The expansion of canals opened up 4,856Ha of new productive, arable land, resulting in increased employment and income of over 4,0000 farmers. This lead to a net additional income of $3,656,493 from increased crop sales during an extremely vulnerable time for smallholder farmers.
  • Unsupported companies began to increase land under production by improving canal irrigation. This engaged more outgrowers and engage private extension workers.
  • The rehabilitation of culverts, gates and canals provided sustainable longer term investments into the local productive infrastructure through both the initial information transfer and the establishment of asset management committees.
  • As a result of seeing the positive results of the Sesame CfW activities the Ministry of Agriculture requested support for the completion of their Irrigation Policy

Ocean fisheries

The training on good handling practices had a substantial impact; PIMS’ spoilage tracking from May 2017 to the end of the project demonstrated a decrease of spoilages rates across surveyed firms from 25 per cent to 4 per cent. The change in fisherfolk behaviours also had knock-on effects in the market. Unsupported firms are now promoting cooling technology to fisherfolk who, as a result, are staying out on their fishing vessels longer and are able to increase the quantity of their catch.

Overall results

  • $17.3 million in private sector investment through PIMS interventions, with PIMS focused on attracting additional investment into both productive and service sectors
  • 11,637 FTE jobs (43 per cent women) created
  • $34.3 million net additional income generated for the producers and private sector companies benefiting from PIMS

[uploaded February, 2020]