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Somalia herders, fishermen eying windfall from export window

Since civil war erupted in 1991, many businesses suffered a natural death, however with peace slowly returning fish traders in the port of Kismayo say they are now able to export

Somalia herders and fish traders are set for a huge windfall after Saudi Arabia, while Kenya started fish imports in over thirty years.

The Middle Eastern country banned imports in December 2016, after an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever in the Horn of Africa country. Saudi Arabia imports 80% of Somalia’s livestock, which sail from the ports of Berbera, Bosaso, Mogadishu and other towns.

The ban lifting has been a godsend to Somali herders who have been through hard times following the ban.

 Apart from Saudi Arabia Somalia also exports livestock to Egypt, Oman and Yemen.

“Saudi Arabia banned imports of Somali livestock in September 2016 following reports of an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever in the Horn of Africa country. Kenya spent $22.17 million on the fish imports in the first 11 months of 2017 from $10.2 million the previous year, and $6.24 million in 2015 a figure that Somalia would be seeking a piece of”

The fish sector has also had a major boost following the commencement of exports to Kenya in over 30years. Somalia has been ravaged by decades of war and civil unrest now exports fish to  a reduction in the level of piracy off the Somali coast.

Somalia has a new processing factory in Kismayo equipped with modern infrastructures such as better refrigeration for making the trade a reality. Kingfish and tuna are the most popular.

Since civil war erupted in 1991, many businesses suffered a natural death, however with peace slowly returning fish traders in the port of Kismayo say they are now able to export.

In recent years Kenya has increased its imports of fish from China as the country’s supply, from the coast as well as Lake Victoria, has been unable to match demand.

Kenya spent $22.17 million on the fish imports in the first 11 months of 2017 from $10.2 million the previous year, and $6.24 million in 2015 a figure that Somalia would be seeking a piece of. Kenya has also been reaping big from Somalia’s return to normalcy in terms of trade.

In recent years, Somali has shoot past Kenya’s traditional markets, Egypt, South Sudan and Rwanda to become one of the top buyers of Kenyan goods. Kenya’s export to Somalia increased by 33.5 per cent in the first half of 2017, making it the third largest destination for Kenya’s goods in Africa after other markets shrunk.

Exports grew to Sh10.71 billion in the first six months compared to Sh8.02 billion over the same period in 2016, according to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) data. Somalia’s fish export trade follows another similarly great step back to normalcy the country made this week.   

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