Somalia has exported five million livestock to the Gulf countries in 2014, the highest number of live animals exported by the Horn of Africa country in the last two decades.
“This is a key milestone for Somalia’s livestock sector that reflects the large investments being made to support the commercial development of the livestock sector to become more competitive in international markets,” Said Hussein, Minister of Livestock, Forestry and Range, said in a press conference on Wednesday.
“This is important for both Somalia’s economy in general and for the livelihoods of the millions of livestock owners throughout Somalia,” he said.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Somalia exported 4.6 million goats and sheep, 340,000 cattle and 77,000 camels in 2014 worth $360 million.
“This shows that despite the challenges, the Somali people are successfully working to improve their economy and food security,” Richard Trenchard, the head of FAO’s office for Somalia, said.
“FAO and our partners are committed to remaining engaged and involved in supporting those efforts,” Trenchard added.
The largest importer of livestock from Somalia is Saudi Arabia followed by Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Livestock contributes 40 percent of Somalia’s GDP.
Somalia has remained in turmoil since the ouster of President Siad Barre in 1991.