Technical and Research Unit Faculty of Agriculture and EnvironmentResearch Projects

1. Vetiver Grass Research for soil and water conservation

Land degradation due to soil erosion by water is among the pressing environmental threats of the world today, though the extent and severity varies with geographic locations and level of societal development.

Due to the low economic development, low level of community awareness, high dependence on natural resources for all basic needs, and as a result of lack of suitable technologies to mitigate its effects, land degradation due to soil erosion remains a devastating phenomenon in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
Cognizant with this, the faculty of agriculture and environment of Amoud University has implemented a research project to introduce, and evaluate the adaptability of the vetiver system (vs) which had been proven for its efficiency in soil and water conservation and other merits ( in the tropics and sub-tropics including in Asia, Latin America, Australia and Africa.
Vetiver grass growing in faculty research farm

Vetiver grass growing at the faculty demonstration farm

The objectives of the project are:

  1. To combat soil erosion
  2. To establish vetiver grass nurseries for transfer to areas needing grass erosion control.
  3. To introduce vetiver grass as an option to contour ridges in soil erosion control
  4. To raise peoples awareness in methods of controlling soil erosion.
  5. To improve opportunities for in-situ water conservation in arable and grazing lands with vetiver grass.

The activities carried out:

  1. To set up nurseries for vetiver grass in the area.
  2. To replant seedlings in the communal farms.
  3. To organise pilot programmes for repegging of arable lands by agritex to facilitate planting of vetiver on the true contour.
  4.  To train of farmers to adopt vetiver for erosion control.

The project participants and or the beneficiaries are the communal farmers from Amoud, Baki and Ruqi  

Anticipated results

  1. Established vetiver nurseries
  2. Adoption of vetiver as erosion control tool in Awdal Region
  3. better conserved arable land grazing lands
  4. increased yields from conserved fields.

The overall expected result is an increase in productivity of the land.

2. Sorghum seed multiplication project

Sorghum has become among the most important crop in Somaliland and the dominant crop in the region. Farmers appreciate sorghum’s high production of grain, biomass, and its ability to tolerate water stress. Considering its important, seed multiplication research project has been implemented by University Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, after short training of the Faculty Agriculture Technicians in Nairobi Kenya, faculty established research farm to test the adaptability and performance of the cilmi Jamac and Kusaw Varieties in different agro-ecological Zones, after testing and multiplications seeds were distributed to farmers surrounding Amoud University in order to enhance their productivity.

Sorghum Seed Multiplication Project

Somtex Seed Purification Research project by Faculty of Agriculture, Amoud University of Somaliland
With its weak economy and poor Agricultural production, partially attributed to the protracted civil war in the recent past and lack of formal recognition of the country, which denies it from bilateral supports, Somaliland faces also food shortage that increasingly poses daunting challenges to the livelihood of its population. Cultivation of crops supports the livelihood of about 28% of the country’s population. The total cultivable land area is estimated at about 350,000 hectares, out of which only 17% are under cultivation. Despite their meager productivity under the prevailing management system, with estimated yield of 500-600kg/ha in good years, maize and sorghum are the two major crops grown in the country. Low and unpredictable rainfall and lack of agricultural inputs such as fertilizers and improved seeds are among the factors responsible for the low crop yield.
In response to the alarming situation of food shortage, it becomes necessary to identify improved seeds of maize crop, so that Amoud University in collaboration with FAO decided to do research on somtex Maize and purify its seeds to produce good and reliable seeds for the farmers.    
According to the Agreement signed by Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, Amoud University and FAO with the collaboration of some other organizations participating the research, currently somtex research was completed successfully at Amoud University Research farm.     

Objectives of Somtex Purification

  • To increase demand for quality seeds by exposing: farmers and traders to modern and diversified seed and planting material varieties.
  • To improve supply of appropriated varieties by increasing qualification of producers mainly through training.
  • To improve market systems (demand/offer) and storage quality by increasing qualification of traders mainly through training.
  • To contribute improving qualification of emerging local Authorities through training and Links with farmers/traders.
  • Control establishment of a seed distribution association and seed producers.
  • Technical assistance and support to emerging local seed related institutions.
  • The Programme was implemented by FAO in partnership with Agro-sphere and with the support of ICRISAT, SATG and in close collaboration with community leaders, private sector stakeholders and local institutions operational in the Programme areas. Amoud University Faculty of Agriculture and Environment implemented the purification of Somtux maize variety.
  • The Programme is designed to address major seed security issues of the Somali people in specific

Activities Implemented
Land Preparation and Fencing at the Faculty Demonstration Plots

Irrigation at the Faculty Demonstration Plots

Planting at The faculty Demonstration Plots

Plant germination at the Faculty Demonstration Plots

Cultivation and Weed Control at The faculty Demostration Plots


Harvesting and Crop yields at the Faculty Demostration Plots

Solid organic waste management Through composting Research project

Project Summary
Project aims establishing recycling of organic waste in Borama, all organic waste from     hotels, fruit and vegetable markets, Kats leaves, and other compose able materials should be collected and composted in two different farming sites,      

Project Preview
After observing that population of Borama town is tremendously increasing, it’s true that the garbage and community waste generation will increase; it’s common to see garbage everywhere if you walk along the Road sides of Borama Town, Due to the low economic development, low level of community awareness, as result of lack of suitable technologies to mitigate its effects and lack of proper waste disposal mechanism, in response to the above mentioned problems it become necessary to make organic waste recycling by composting the organic waste from Hotels, market, some household, compost materials will be collected in two different selected Farming sites by demonstration and training  of the farmers compost holes will be dug and buried under ground in to two meters and compost will be ready to use after two month.

Evaluation of compost on Amoud University Research
Faculty of Agriculture and environment of Amoud University in Borama was one of the implementing partner on composting project funded by CESVI to implement compost production activity for a pilot phase as a part of SISDISC project. The main aim was to show and learn the target beneficiaries that the solid and wet organic wastes produced in their area could be benefited and used in other purposes such as a fertilizer for the farms. The preparation of the compost has passed different stages from selecting the site and digging the hole, collecting the solid and wet organic wastes, separation of inorganic west from the organic and putting in the compost holes  and watering  to facilitate the process of decomposition until it reaches its final stage and monitoring of the decomposition rates of the compost.   
Amoud University started the process of collection of solid and wet organic waste in March2009 and continued until Jun 2009. From July to November 2009 the compost formation process were continuously monitored and evaluated  and the compost was ready for application in December 2009. faculty started The distribution of compost  late December 09 and continued up to early January 2010. faculty of Agriculture and Environment produced high quality fertilizers and distributed 350 bags (50 kg each) of compost(high quality fertilizer). Total 16 farmers in Amoud Valley adjacent framers had received the compost from Amoud University.
Research farm of the faculty of Agriculture and Environment, Amoud University is designed for Experimental station of Agricultural Researches; Compost Evaluation was carried out by Amoud Research team and Students of the faculty. One plots of sontex maize purification project of FAO,  two plots onion and cabbage only one plot of each were introduced the compost and other two plots with out compost and students and the team continuously evaluated result of the plots and concluded that

Amoud university, Evaluation

Farm without Compost

Farm with Compost

On Farmers Field Evaluation

Amoud University Research Team had conducted a continuous field trip in order to evaluate whether the compost is benefited by the farmers who have received and the production outcome of farmers towards the application of compost on their farms. The main purpose of the Team was to:-

  • Evaluate how the compost was benefited and perceived by the farmers.
  • Meet farmers in their fields and discuss with the major challenges and constraints they faced during the application of compost in their farms.
  • Make observation of what changes has happened to farms that have been used for the compost.

USAID Partnership for Economic Growth Amoud University Agriculture Project – Borama Area Sub-Activity

Introduction and Background

The USAID-funded Partnership for Economic Growth (Partnership) is being implemented by Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI). The purpose of the Partnership is to help local authorities and private sector groups improve the enabling environment for investment, generate more productive employment and improve other livelihood activities. Currently operating in the area of Somaliland, the program anticipates expanding. Using a flexible approach that relies on detailed analysis before launching each sub-activity, the Partnership has two focus areas: overall private sector development, including women?s business development; and strengthening specific productive value chains, including livestock and agriculture.
Amoud University (AU) is the first post-civil war institution of higher learning in Somalia launched in 1998 with 66 students in two faculties (Education and Business Administration), and 3 instructors. AU now has expanded the number of faculties to include the first agriculture department in Somaliland. AU?s position in the important agriculture production area makes them an ideal partner in this Borama agriculture activity.

Project Description.

The project purpose is to increase vegetable productivity and production volumes to replace imports and increase domestic incomes and employment. This will be addressed through the following primary objectives:

  • Establish irrigated demonstration plots to:
    • Test varieties of a selected number of vegetables and/or short season fruit crops.
    • Provide agriculture extension advisory services to area farmers.
  • Establish a  nursery  where varieties selected from the demonstration plot trials will be multiplied and sold to farmers at market prices.    
  • Establish two extension teams, one for agriculture and one for business skills, and train the teams to provide proper agronomic and other production related advice to farmers, as well as basic business skills transfer.

The project will consist of the following components:

  • Irrigated vegetable demonstration plots
  • Demo field days during the crop season
  • Extension staff provided and trained by the partner to provide advisory services for the three demo plots.

Agricultural extension services will include, but not be limited to the following:

  • Seed selection
  • Proper planting methods
  • Fertilizer application rates
  • Intercropping and rotation to improve soil fertility and reduce plant disease carryover
  • Water harvesting technology
  • Harvesting and handling methods to reduce post-harvest losses

Business extension services will include, but not be limited to the following:

    • Basic literacy and numeracy, as a foundation for both improved agricultural and business skills. Possible collaboration and follow up will be explored with the USAID/EDC Shaqodoon’s literacy and numeracy audio series program;
    • Basic bookkeeping, marketing and related entrepreneurship training. Possible collaboration and follow up will be explored with the USAID/EDC Shaqodoon’s Tab iyo Xeelad Entrepreneurship audio series program;
  • One nursery established following two cropping seasons of variety testing on the demo plots. The nursery will multiply vegetable seeds, and the  seeds/transplants will be sold by the  partner at commercial prices (not subsidized) for their own account to area farmers.  
  • Beehives established on the demo plots to demonstrate pollination benefits and revenue generation from honey harvesting. Extension training and advisory services will address beekeeping.  

Amoud University assisted in developing realistic impact targets which included:

  • Increased yield by vegetables selected for multiplication.
  • Increased production (yield * estimated ha planted) of vegetables. Estimated ha will be based expected nursery seed production and seed planting rates/ha) Increased production can also be attributed to improved productivity resulting from extension training for farmers that do not purchase nursery seeds)    
  • Value of reduced imports (approximately equal to the increased production volume)  
  • Increase in household incomes (household level yield increases * prices; disaggregated measure compared to value of reduced imports)  
  • Multiplier impact of increased purchases of local produce (i.e. reduced imports) on local economy

Demonstration Plots

 Demostration Plot at BakiDemostration Plot: Cabbages

Demonstration Plot: Water Melon

Demostration Plot: Pepper


Demonstration Plot: Onion

Extension Services: Lteracy and Numeracy, Fieldwork

Extension Services: Literacy and Numeracy, Clas Session

Extension Services: Literacy and Numeracy, Class Work

In kind Grant to Farmers (tractor hours)

In kind grant to farmers (tested seeds)

Market Days: Session 1

Market Days: Session 2

Windmill for irrigation