Ahead of the global United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021 convened in September by United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, the Somali Federal Government in cooperation with the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), European Union (EU), and the French research Centre for Agricultural Development (CIRAD) conducted a stakeholders consultation workshop on the assessment of Food Systems. All food systems stakeholders were invited to participate.
Over 60 stakeholders representing the Government, civil society, the private sector, academia and non-governmental organizations gathered virtually on September 14 in Mogadishu, and Hargeisa on September 16 for Stakeholders Consultation Workshop discussions.
The assessment and dialogue were organized by the three global partnerships along with the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation of the Federal Government of Somalia, and the Ministry of Agriculture Development, Somaliland. The discussions launched a large-scale food systems assessment. The consultation workshops are a central component in this assessment process and brought together diverse food systems actors to share their views on key issues, challenges, identify levers, and entry point that can lead to sustainable food systems transformation.
“In order to meet the challenges of climate change, food insecurity, chronic malnutrition and bio-diversity loss in Somalia, it is our collective responsibility to ensure more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems. Finding pragmatic solutions to specific problems in Somalia’s food systems in Somalia not only requires comprehension of the linkages between system components but also governance structures capable of addressing trade-offs between food system outcomes and sustainability,” said Etienne Peterschmitt, FAO Country Representative for Somalia.
“Through these discussions, it is our hope that we can produce and agree on solutions to these challenges, leading to sustainable and equitable food systems for all Somalis,” he said.
Urgent actions are needed to address the challenges and the negative impacts associated with malnutrition in Somalia, which has some of the highest rates of malnutrition globally. In addition, global crises such as COVID-19, the climate emergency, pollution, biodiversity loss, conflict and other disasters are revealing significant risks and vulnerabilities in Somalia’s food system, posing an existential threat to both humans and ecosystems alike.
“Looking at the Somalia context, food systems are critical to address the needs of the population to eat safe food, adopt a healthy diet and reduce food insecurity and malnutrition,” said European Union programme manager Luca Pagliara. “Sustainability is essential to manage natural resources, to reduce pollution, to address climate change and to protect biodiversity. Transitioning to sustainable agri-food systems it is fundamental for poverty eradication, rural development, job creation, economic growth,” he added.
The consultation workshops are a step in promoting this sustainable and inclusive transformation of such food systems.
Stakeholders identified key constraints and entry points for innovative policy and investment solutions for the transformation of sustainable food systems.
“Creating equitable and sustainable agri-food systems requires the participation of all stakeholders in these systems.
The Food System Assessment workshop is a unique opportunity to bring about the transformational change needed to achieve this with everyone around the table. That we are all together represents the whole of government, whole of sector approach needed to achieve sustainability and resilience, access to jobs, healthy and nutritious food, and to advance the national development plan and priorities in Somalia,” said Mr. Nour Yousuf Nour, Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, of the Federal Government of Somalia.
The evidence and knowledge gathered will be summarized in a Food Systems Assessment Report and Policy Brief that will advance the national dialogues on food systems, and feed into policies, plans and programs shaping the food systems development in Somalia and Somaliland. The findings will also inform the high-level United Nations Food System Summit in September 2021, in view of guiding future action under the global food systems transformation agenda.
More information on the food systems assessment process can be found by visiting: