Somalia exports over a million goats to Gulf countries

The Somali government has disclosed  over one million  goats have been exported from Somalia to  Arab countries. The increase in exports is primarily due to improved trade relations and the repeal of COVID-19 travel restrictions,  which has resulted in tenfold  increase in number of pilgrims this year. Hassan Hussein Elaay, Somalia’s Minister of Animal Husbandry, revealed on Thursday that substantial number of the exported goats—over one million—were shipped to Saudi Arabia during the Hajj period, particularly during the Arafat days. The majority of these animals were shipped from the ports of two major cities, Berbera and Bosaso. 

The Minister reiterated that export operations are to  continue unabated, demonstrating the country’s strong performance in the livestock sector. Somalia’s livestock industry, which accounts for three-quarters of total exports, suffered greatly during the pandemic year. The limited number of people permitted to perform the Hajj, Islam’s holy pilgrimage, resulted in significant decrease in livestock trade, primarily with Saudi Arabia. With only 1,000 people permitted to perform the Hajj in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as result of COVID-19, demand for livestock to feed the influx of pilgrims fell dramatically, affecting millions of livestock breeders, traders, and exporters.

Somalia’s economy is based on livestock export, with over 65% of the population engaged in some way in the industry. The primary livestock of Somalia comprises cattle, camel, sheep, and goats.  In recent years, the Somali livestock sector has been challenged by droughts, declining pasture and water resources, and increased disease outbreaks.

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