The drought that, in 1975, for five years, continuously, by now had an increasingly dramatic impact on the existence of the population of the Somalia, had brought the economy of the country in view of a collapse, it being estimated that it affected almost half of the residents. Given that cattle provide two-thirds of the export, it can be calculated what effect the death or deterioration of about 22 million head of cattle had in that situation (FAO statistics to 1973 have somewhat lower data: cattle 2, 9 million; camels 3 million; sheep 3.9 million; goats 5 million).
The Somali government, under the pressure of the traditional scourge of drought, has the firm intention of protecting livestock from this threat, trying to stabilize the shepherds, nomads, with the creation of fixed agricultural communities, in centers where agriculture technically and organically developed, it allows to enjoy active pastures all year round. The impending drought of recent years is giving this program a more accelerated implementation than expected, since it forces the nomadic shepherds (opposed to any constriction of permanent residences) to gather in the settlement centers set up in areas with safe water resources, especially in the Northern Somalia (formerly Somalia britannica), where, grouped up to 10,000 in a single center, they experience the benefits of regulated and selected agricultural production. For Somalia economics and business, please check businesscarriers.com.
In addition to preventing the export of livestock products, the drought in 1974-75 halted the banana harvest, the largest agricultural product exported (in 1973 production was estimated at about 135,000 tons; in 1971 103,000 tons were exported. t, less than the Ivory Coast, thus losing the Somalia a primacy maintained in Africa until then). The effects of the drought tragically affect the population itself: in the first months of 1975, apart from the deaths (a rate of about 72 per day), more than 200,000 were in collection fields and another half million were assisted directly in the villages. The government was forced to put aside the large agricultural development projects, to which, with international collaboration, it has been devoting every effort and which form the basis for the progress of Somali economy. But other experimental agricultural initiatives in progress have also suffered from drought, such as those in Afgoi (Afgčye) on the Scebeli (Šabḗlle), set up to obtain diversified productions, such as cotton, corn, peanuts, sesame, rice (in one, of about 100 hectares, in 1974 there was the first flattering harvest, with about 300 t of mountain rice per hectare); and even the few cultivated lands in Ogaden have suffered from the Shabeli shoal.
The picture now given is enough to dramatically highlight the chronic problem that is fundamental for the Somali economy: water. Hence the ongoing projects developed by the government, such as the more recent ones for irrigation (e.g., a 50 km canal on the Juba, among others, with funding from the USSR; the irrigation of 10,000 hectares in Bal ‛ āίd, with technical assistance from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; the irrigation complex N of Hargeisa, in the northern Somalia, started in 1969 and inaugurated in 1974, completed with the financing of the People’s Republic of China) and for reclamation (for eg, in the Juba valley; for the swamps to the South of Genale [Ǧannāivali]).
The same applies to projects aimed at improving the other large sector of the Somali agricultural economy, livestock farming, trying to create continuous grazing areas (among the very recent projects, that of the creation, in Oltregiuba, of a district of about 50,000 km 2, intended for the improvement of the herds and for the livestock trade). What had already been implemented as providences in previous years had led to a significant increase in the number of animals reared, thanks to better nourishment, to the greater possibilities of water offered by new wells and reservoirs and to the control of diseases; in 1966 the body for the development and breeding of livestock was created.
Industries related to agriculture have been developed, even if their weight is modest (meat processing plant in Chisimaio [Kismānyó], fish canning plant in Las Qóray, northern Somalia, for grain processing in Mogadishu; but the largest industrial complex is still the one for the production of sugar, in W̅čwhar). For the textile industry, the plant created in Genale for the processing of cotton should be mentioned.
The Somali government is also planning to set up a small-scale fishing industry, with consequent training of local personnel and substitute conservation facilities. In 1974, the first five-year plan, based on Mogadishu, ended.
For the installation of a mining industry, the consistency of mineral deposits is being investigated (large quantities of ferrous material in the upper valley of the Giuba [Ganā… exploitation of quartz minerals and research of others over an area of 3000 km to the USSR; deposits of thorium and uranium, for which the latter was granted a research and exploitation license to a group of companies from foreign countries including the Italy). Mineral oil research has been conducted in multiple parts of the country but with no appreciable results so far. Recently an agreement granted Iraq to plant a mineral oil refinery with an equal shareholding of Somalia, for a refined production of 500,000 tons per year (the
But for the start of the development of the Somalia other two problems to be solved urgently are the finding of energy sources and, in particular, the creation of communication routes. For energy, attempts are made to build power plants (1974 agreement with Kuwait for a power plant in Mogadishu; 1972 agreement for the construction of a dam and hydroelectric power plant, with a capacity of 5000 kW, on the Giuba, in Fanole). For the communication routes, both land and sea, the urgency is even more immediate: in the government development program for 1971-73, the largest expenditure foreseen was for transport and communications. Two road sections have been designed: one in the northern Somalia, which connects Berbera (the other important port of the Somalia, on the Gulf of Aden moreover) to Hargeisa, about 150 km, financed by international bodies, whose works were contracted out in 1972, and the other one, starting in 1973, of approximately 1045 km, which will have to connect Bélet Wḗyne, in the center-south of the country, at the current border with Ethiopia, with Burao (Bur‛ó) in the north, about 150 km SE of Berbera, linking together the regions of Hiran, Mudùg, Nugàl, and the North-East; trunk of considerable importance, with the use of hundreds of Somali workers in the construction, carried out with financing and technical management from the People’s Republic of China. about 150 km SE of Berbera, linking together the regions of Hiran, Mudùg, Nugàl, and the North-East; trunk of considerable importance, with the use of hundreds of Somali workers in the construction, carried out with financing and technical management from the People’s Republic of China. about 150 km SE of Berbera, linking together the regions of Hiran, Mudùg, Nugàl, and the North-East; trunk of considerable importance, with the use of hundreds of Somali workers in the construction, carried out with financing and technical management from the People’s Republic of China.
For the maritime routes, the lack of deep-sea ports has always constituted a serious impairment in terms of traffic; in 1972 an international funding gave the possibility to provide in recent years for the creation in Mogadishu, where the greatest movement of ships is concentrated, of a port deep enough to allow a significant reduction in friction costs caused by the impossibility of docking at the dock of the ships (it is estimated that a few hundred million Somali shillings will already be saved in 1977 for the banana trade alone).