Prior to independence in 1960, our people were able to feed themselves without any outside assistance. Our farmers and nomads fed the entire country many times over, not with imported or donated rice and ravioli pasta, but with milk, sorghum, corn and camel meat. Successive Somali regimes instituted policies that adversely affected this important rural sector. These policies undermined the farming sector so much that they caused an exodus of the rural population into the cities and towns. When our people were forced to abandon their land and move in droves to the cities for survival, we became a nation of refugees in our own land; we became dependent on foreign aid, even for those things that we used to produce ourselves.
We think that our salvation lies in helping our people reconnect with their land and produce again. And to this end, Amoud Foundation of Dallas started a very ambitious program of micro-lending in 2003. We started the initial pilot program with a few families. The plan is to help families with seeds, tractor hours and other related activities during the cultivation season. They are to pay back that money after the harvest, not in cash but in kind, and not back to the foundation but to their fellow neighboring farmers until the entire community at a location is covered. The disbursement of funds, data collection and other activities that may be necessary for project evaluation is being done by a local committee of elders and intellectuals.
This is an ambitious project. But a journey of a thousand miles always starts with the first step. Your donations towards this project will be highly appreciated
Amoud Foundation of Dallas started this pilot project in 2003. Initially, it provided $200.00 to poor farmers to cover seeds, tractor hours, and other incidental expenses. This pilot was implemented in three areas: Abu Qays, Idhan, and Carro-Qolaab. Blessed with good rains, most farmers had a bumper crop in the first year. Farmers in Abu Qays and Idhan were able to repay over 90% of the loan in the first year, and Carro-Qolaab about 20%. It would be an understatement to say that the success of this project far exceeded our expectations. We decided to continue and expand this project. Amoud Foundation of Dallas committed $10,000.00 in the second year towards this project. This year we expanded the program to include the purchase of livestock for poor families.
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