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Micro-irrigation schemes: Youth with a future

In the rural villages of Bedenbed and Heego, youth were facing a bleak future, with few opportunities to earn a living many found themselves unemployed and contemplated migration to the cities, morale was low. Even those who attempted farming were discouraged by the high cost of fuel for boreholes, which made irrigation unaffordable. It seemed like the youth of these villages were on the brink of abandoning their homes in search of better opportunities.

"I was once planning to move to Borama, the nearest big town," says Mohamed Tukaale, a young farmer from Bedenbed, reflecting the feelings of many young men in the community. However, the SDF-funded Sustainable Land Management Project has brought a ray of hope to Mohamed and young people like him. 


Under the Project, implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture a total of 11 old boreholes, were rehabilitated and equipped with new storage tanks, irrigation pipes, and solar systems. Water tanks were built to provide irrigation during times of drought, seeds and tractor hours were provided, and feeder roads were rehabilitated to improve farmers’ access to markets in nearby towns. This comprehensive support package aimed to restore the role of youth in the villages and boost the local economy.

The impact of these interventions was transformative. The working boreholes now provide water to 20 youth farms in Bedenbed and 35 youth farms in Heego. With access to micro-irrigation systems, the youth are already engaged in meaningful agricultural activities right in their own villages. The solar-powered boreholes have reduced fuel consumption for irrigation, while the water storage tanks have ensured a stable water supply for farming year-round, meaning they can continue farming even during drought.

Mohamed Tukaale's optimism is palpable as he tells of his experience on his farm. He is now harvesting 1500 watermelon, worth around $3 each, plus 2000 kg of tomatoes, along with significant quantities of beans and 4000 kg of onions to follow. Other youth farmers in both villages are also looking forward to bountiful harvests.

"I am so happy that I am harvesting such a big amount. The support from SDF through the Ministry of Agriculture has been invaluable" exclaims Mohamed. "With my profits, I plan to reinvest in the farm with new varieties and also venture into livestock keeping."


When you feel Mohamed’s enthusiasm, you can understand why the youth of Bedenbed and Heego are no longer so disheartened; many have now found joy and purpose in their work. The Project has not only brought the prospect of economic prosperity but is also expected to stem the tide of youth migration to urban areas. Through small-scale irrigation, young farmers can cultivate a brighter future right at home.