MOGADISHU, Somalia – An exhibition organized by Somalia and Turkey officially kicked off Sunday, attracting hundreds of participants, including business leaders from all sectors of agriculture.
Among those attending was Turkish Ambassador to Somalia Mehmet Yilmaz, who said he was pleased to participate in the Somali-Turkish Agricultural Expo, the first of its kind in the country.
“There will also be panels at the expo where Turkish and Somali experts will discuss problems regarding agriculture in Somalia and deliberate on possible solutions and cooperation,” he said.
Somalis eager to get into the lucrative agriculture business thronged the summit, which ends Monday, to learn how they can improve their yields and tap into the international market.
“Some parts of Somalia, like where I come from, are good for farming. I just want to know how I can export my farm produce abroad, and I have been given help here,” Mohamud Osman, a Somali farmer, told Anadolu Agency.
“How can we use agriculture to grow Somalia and where do we export what we have?” said businessman Hassan Omar.
Later, Omar spoke to Anadolu Agency on the sidelines of the summit.
“All the businesspeople here now are targeting agriculture. We don’t want to be left behind. We will invest heavily. It is the future of our country.”
Somalia’s Minister for Labor and Social Affairs, Sadik Warfa, called for Turkey’s assistance to help Somalia realize its potential in agriculture, which will provide jobs for many youths.
Somalia mostly exports livestock, fish and bananas and also grows corn and sorghum for domestic use. But a lack of security as well as displacement due to war, poor irrigation and transport systems and degraded natural environments have slowed exports over the years.