Somali traders earned $2.38 million in sales and are negotiating potential trades worth about $10 million for Somalia’s products as a result of their participation in the Gulfood Fair in Dubai this year.
The fair brought together more than 100,000 buyers, investors and producers from around the world to promote their products and boost exports to the region. The expo spanned five days and attracted key businessmen, decision-makers, and investors in the agri-food industry from across the world.
USAID’s Somalia Growth, Enterprise, Employment & Livelihoods (GEEL) Project supported Somalia’s participation in 2017 Gulfood, providing a great platform for Somali producers and processors to introduce their products to global markets.
Twenty Somali companies exhibited the wealth of the country’s exportable offerings through a diverse range of products including; dried lemons, bananas, sesame and other pulses, frankincense and meat.
The Director of the Somalia Chamber of Commerce Hashim Duale said: “This was the first time that Somalia attended a world stage to showcase agriculture products. The event helped to show the world that Somalis are exporters too, not only importers.”
Agriculture is the most important economic sector in Somalia. It employs 65% of the workforce, and with the demand for produce consistently growing, Somalia hopes to expand into the regional and international markets.
Commenting on the positive reception of Somali products, Hersio Abdulle Siad from SomFresh Fruits and Vegetables said: “During our engagements with food buyers at trade events and at the Gulfood trade fair, I saw the many opportunities available to sell our products outside Somali borders.”
Despite two decades of conflict, Somalia’s agricultural sector has remained resilient and production is growing to meet rising regional and international demand for high-quality agricultural commodities.This combined with fertile agricultural land and a well established private sector has put Somali business at a turning point in terms of global trade. GEEL is committed to driving trade of goods from Somalia, opening new international markets and supporting Somali companies in their efforts to go global.