Catholic Entity’s Vegetable Farming Initiative Improving IDPs’ Livelihoods in Somalia

Farhiya Ali Mohamed (43) with her produce at the IDP camp in Gedo, Somalia. Credit: Somali Humanitarian Relief Action/Trócaire

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Somalia’s Gedo region are benefiting from a pilot initiative in vegetable farming that is facilitated by the overseas development agency of Ireland, Trόcaire.

In a Tuesday, August 30 report, the leadership of the Irish entity says that the pilot project that involves growing of beans and spinach also aims to improve the nutrition of IDPs in the Somalian region and a source of income.

“Trόcaire, in partnership with Somali Humanitarian Relief Action, are implementing a pilot project focusing on improving the livelihoods, nutrition and resilience of vulnerable IDPs in Gedo by growing a variety of vegetables intercropped with moringa trees,” the officials of the Irish Catholic entity say.

The leadership of Trόcaire goes on to underline the importance of vegetable farming, saying, “Local people growing vegetables can help strengthen a country’s economy as well as increasing food security. It allows families to improve their nutrition and create a source of income.”

Farhiya Ali Mohamed aged 43 and a mother of eight who fled to a camp of IDPs in the Gedo region of Somalia after the death of her husband is a beneficiary of the project.


Before embracing the project, Trόcaire officials say that Farhiya had to fend for her eight children single handedly through doing odd jobs such as farming, washing and selling fire wood.

“Farhiya’s chances of finding a job were hindered by the prolonged drought, conflict and economic impact of Covid-19 pandemic – and now the Ukraine war. Despite this, Farhiya never lost hope that she would find a job,” the officials say in the August 30 report.

“Through the Trόcaire project, Farhiya was given a piece of land where she is growing moringa trees and vegetables,” the leadership of Trόcaire says.

After three months of farming, Trόcaire officials go on to say, Farhiya “harvested 15kgs of corn, 12kgs of beans, three sacks of spinach and two sacks of kale. She earned $189 from her produce.”

“Farhiya is happy that she is now able to feed her family, while also selling the surplus to make extra income,” they say.

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She is quoted in the August 30 report as saying, “I am grateful for the piece of land, crop seeds and supply of water for farming. I am now able to provide for my family through selling the spinach.”

Farhiya adds, “It’s my hope and prayer that Somalia will become peaceful, and we go back to our ancestral land and do farming. My dream is to see my children getting education like any other child and live a healthy and better life.”

“Using the income I started earning, I hope to have a better and bigger shelter for my family in the future,” she further says.

In the report, the officials of the Catholic entity express optimism that Farhiya “will be able to save enough money to expand her makeshift home as her current shelter does not protect her and her family from extreme weather conditions."

The report indicates that the project was fueled by the drought situation that has subjected many families in Gedo region to hunger due to food shortage.


“More than 80 percent of people rely on agriculture and pastoralism to support their livelihoods, but the absence of rain has left nearly half of the population, particularly children, in extreme hunger,” the officials say.

Besides the drought situation that has led to the food crisis, the officials of the Irish Catholic entity say that “the Ukraine war has also had a huge effect on communities as the price of food and fuel has increased.”

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.