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Somaliland’s miracle dairy farm - Mashallah

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Somaliland’s miracle dairy farm - Mashallah

Postby LiquidHYDROGEN » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:30 am

GABILEY — BBC Africa Editor Mary Harper describes how she came to report on a remarkable green field dairy farm in the middle of the desert in a rejuvenated Somaliland.

I didn’t believe a word Abdullah Farah was saying when he first told me about his farm.

I had met him by chance in the Man-Soor Hotel while reporting for Assignment in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland – a dry, arid territory that broke away from Somalia 20 years ago and classed by the BBC as a ‘hostile environment’.

Image
BBC Africa Editor Mary Harper in Somaliland for Assignment

Like so many Somalilanders, Abdullah had fled the territory during a civil war in the 1980s. He ended up as a refugee in Canada, where, from nothing, he built up a lucrative business.

But he had returned to his homeland to set up what he told me was the “Green Valley Dairy Farm”.

Desert Oasis

I’m sorry to say that I laughed at him and joked that he was living in some kind of fantasy land because I could never imagine such a thing in Somaliland.

On my journey through the territory, I had seen hardly any green vegetation and certainly no dairy cows. Just camels and goats.

He asked if I’d like to visit and I couldn’t resist, so the next day we set off early in the morning in his dusty jeep.

We flew across the sand at great speed, bouncing and leaping across territory that is still being cleared of the hundreds of thousands of landmines planted there during the civil war.

Suddenly, in stark contrast to the sandy landscape, appeared an expanse of bright green.

I thought I had seen a mirage, but there, built amongst the lush fields, was a green cowshed, full of black and white dairy cows.
Somaliland pioneers

Mr Farah didn’t know anything about farming when he started the project, but he wanted to produce fresh milk in Somaliland because many people, including his father, suffer from weak bones caused by calcium deficiency.

Image
Dairy farmers in Somaliland

“I learned all of this from the internet,” he said, laughing.

His can-do attitude and spirit of adventure was something I encountered a lot in Somaliland, especially amongst those people who had returned from exile overseas.

I came to think of them as the ‘Somaliland pioneers’.

Boom town

Somaliland doesn’t have access to big international loans because it doesn’t officially exist as a country.

Its government is poor and weak, but business people and local communities are rebuilding Somaliland from the rubble of war.

Twenty years ago, Hargeisa was called the ‘Dresden of Africa’ – the city had been flattened by systematic aerial bombardment by Somali government forces.

Now it is a boom town and many of the roads, bridges, schools and hospitals have been built with private money.

Some Somalilanders have contributed millions of dollars, others perhaps a camel, a goat or a few shillings.

Image
A dairy cow on the farm


Contrasting lands

Despite Somaliland’s ‘hostile environment’ status, I felt extremely safe there.

Most expatriates won’t leave their homes without armed guards, but I travelled all over the territory with no armed escort.


There were several checkpoints manned by veterans of the civil war, but passing through them was always a good-humoured and relaxed experience.

The riskiest thing about my trip to Somaliland was getting there.

I travelled by air from the Kenyan capital Nairobi, via the Somali capital Mogadishu where, on an almost daily basis, al-Qaeda linked fighters battle a weak transitional government backed by African Union peacekeepers.

Fortunately there was no heavy fighting on the day I was there and the atmosphere was fairly relaxed.

But the city was heavily militarised – a complete contrast to Somaliland, where most of the guns have been put down and people are doing what they can to develop their homeland, including making sure the population has fresh milk to drink.

Look out for Mary Harper’s Assignment: Somaliland Pioneers in forthcoming BBC World Service schedules

Prevously, Mary Harper spoke to Somaliland’s first lady Amina Waris in Hargeisa:
http://somalilandpress.com/somaliland%E2%80%99s-miracle-dairy-farm-20734

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Re: Somaliland’s miracle dairy farm - Mashallah

Postby razer » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:21 am

:up: mashallah i thought about starting my own chicken farm back home once buts another story but this brother done well keep it going

the only we can succeed as as nation and to get the coveted prize and more is to be financially viable and strong its a good start.We are moving in that direction with freedom of movement of people goods and capital

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Re: Somaliland’s miracle dairy farm - Mashallah

Postby ToughGong » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:58 am

Mashallah

“Progress is the activity of today and the assurance of tomorrow”


:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :

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Re: Somaliland’s miracle dairy farm - Mashallah

Postby Madelina » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:46 pm

Thanks for the article.. I love it!

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Re: Somaliland’s miracle dairy farm - Mashallah

Postby SahanGalbeed » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:32 pm

Love it too . :up:

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Re: Somaliland’s miracle dairy farm - Mashallah

Postby Aishah » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:21 pm

Loolz @ chicken Farm


But mashallah :up:

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Re: Somaliland’s miracle dairy farm - Mashallah

Postby LiquidHYDROGEN » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:31 pm

razer wrote::up: mashallah i thought about starting my own chicken farm back home once buts another story but this brother done well keep it going

the only we can succeed as as nation and to get the coveted prize and more is to be financially viable and strong its a good start.We are moving in that direction with freedom of movement of people goods and capital


Lol nobody eats chicken back home, my friend. You're better off starting a camel-cheese factory. :up:

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Re: Somaliland’s miracle dairy farm - Mashallah

Postby juzme123 » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:37 pm

Nice article :up: :sland:

---

I think chicken would be a good source of protein for those who cannot afford meat. Otherwise you can always export it to the gulf or even flog it the ethios.?

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Re: Somaliland’s miracle dairy farm - Mashallah

Postby Aishah » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:48 pm

Juz even the poor people dont eat the chicken they use it make Egg... fish has become less expensive now so that an alternative for them i think we shoud try and produce Cheese next :up:

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Re: Somaliland’s miracle dairy farm - Mashallah

Postby juzme123 » Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:01 pm

^^ Yh they could make all sorts of cheese from the livestock in Somaliland.

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Re: Somaliland’s miracle dairy farm - Mashallah

Postby LiquidHYDROGEN » Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:02 pm

Yeah the camel-cheese was a joke but mauretania is selling it to high-street shops in europe and america. It could be the very successful if we applied it. We've probably got more camels than them anyway.

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Re: Somaliland’s miracle dairy farm - Mashallah

Postby garad13 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:13 am

Nice read kudos to that guy :up:

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Re: Somaliland’s miracle dairy farm - Mashallah

Postby *Nobleman* » Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:32 am

:up:

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Re: Somaliland’s miracle dairy farm - Mashallah

Postby damu » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:10 pm

mashallah good article and about a good man :up: :up:

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Re: Somaliland’s miracle dairy farm - Mashallah

Postby ToughGong » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:29 pm

damu wrote:mashallah good article and about a good man :up: :up:

:up: indeed


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