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Somalia: Semi-Mechanized Rainfed Agriculture Pilot Project (Credit 1774-SO) Central Rangelands Research and Development Project (Credit 1957-SO) Farahaane Irrigation Rehabilitation Project (Credit 2063-SO)

This Evaluative Memorandum covers the three credits to Somalia named above, which were canceled in June and July of 1995 prior to completion. Due to instability within the country and the collapse of Government in December
1990, all operations and disbursements were suspended as of March 15, 1991. When it became apparent that there was no early chance of Government being reestablished and the projects restarted, the undisbursed balances of the
uncompleted projects were canceled. The Project Completion Notes (PCNs) were prepared by the Africa Regional Office.

Semi-Mechanized Rainfed Agriculture Pilot Project

The project, supported by Credit 1774-SO for SDR 10.6 million (US$13.4 million equivalent), was approved in FY87. A total of SDR 3.6 million (equivalent to US$4.8 million and 34 percent) was disbursed, with the last disbursement in
June 1992. The undisbursed balance of SDR 7.0 million was canceled in June 1995. The PCN was prepared by the Food and Agricultural Organization/World Bank Cooperative Programme and the Africa Regional Office.

The project was an expansion of a small experimental component of an earlier IDA-assisted project, which attempted to introduce to Somalia proven machinery-based cultivation techniques for semi-arid areas. Machinery
services were provided by the project agency to smallholders who were settled on new cropland which had been cleared and developed by the project.

The objectives of the project were to (i) further develop semi-mechanized rainfed (SMR) farming technology; (ii) investigate appropriate self-sustaining and replicable institutions to manage SMR activities; (iii) train managers and
farmers in SMR systems; and (iv) increase crop production and smallholder farm incomes. The main components of the pilot project were settlement of a further 400 smallholder families (making 600 in total); construction of roads,
housing, offices and a water supply system; procurement of vehicles, machinery and equipment for the project agency; technical assistance; training; monitoring and evaluation; and studies. The economic rate of return was estimated to be in the range 12-15 percent. Although project documentation was well prepared, there was inadequate participation by farmers in the design. Also, the ICR notes that crop yields, farm income and cost recovery projections were highly optimistic, compared with trial results from 1982-87, such that the project concept was seriously flawed at approval.

Implementation started well in mid-1987, but by the next year it became clear that social and farm economics aspects of the project concept were unsound. A supervision mission in 1988 used more realistic average yields from the trials
to estimate that prospective farm incomes were only about a quarter of appraisal estimates. Hence prospects for cost recovery were slight and incentives for settler cooperation may have been weak. However, by mid-1988 the security situation began to deteriorate and eventually all project activities ceased in January 1991 when civil war broke out. Since only one of the three years of implementation was relatively peaceful, there was little progress towards achieving objectives. Some equipment was procured, some infrastructure was completed, and a third of the planned expansion area was cleared for settlement. Research studies did not achieve useful results before the project closed down and hence some technical problems with SMR remain. Training was undertaken, but many of the staff who were trained left the country after the government fell.

Efficient management of the operation proved difficult for Somali staff and there were financial irregularities. At appraisal Bank staff were over-optimistic about the potential of SMR, and analytical mistakes were made, but supervision missions eventually diagnosed the difficulties of introducing SMR in Somalia. The main lessons learned before operations were suspended are that a more flexible strategy should be followed in such pilot operations so
that alternative systems can be tested, and that the full participation of farmers is essential at the design stage if their cooperation is to be forthcoming.

The civil war brought the project to an early end, and few project assets are thought to remain. Significant problems with the SMR strategy emerged. Hence, the Operations Evaluation Department (OED) rates project outcome as
highly unsatisfactory, sustainability as unlikely, institutional development as negligible. No audit is planned.

Central Rangelands Research and Development Project - Phase II (CRRDP II)

The project, supported by Credit 1957-SO for SDR 14.7 million (US$19.0 million equivalent) was approved in FY89. A total of SDR 1.52 million (equivalent to US$1.99 million) was disbursed, with the last disbursement on December 27,
1990. The undisbursed balance of SDR 13.18 million was canceled on June 23, 1995. Cofinancing of US$11.0 million was provided by the African Development Fund (AfDF); US$0.42 million was disbursed. The draft PCN was prepared by the Food and Agriculture Organization/World Bank Cooperative Programme for the Africa Regional Office.

The project was to extend and expand operations initiated under the Central Rangelands Research and Development Project_ Phase I (CRRDP I). Specific objectives were to (i) maintain and improve the long run productivity of the
central rangelands; and (ii) raise the living standards of pastoralists. The main project components were: agropastoral adaptive trials to test improved husbandry methods and produce improved pasture seeds; extension to disseminate
improved technology and organize Range and Livestock Associations to manage project infrastructure; water and infrastructure development to construct boreholes, dugouts and wells, and improve roads and air strips; animal health
and livestock production to expand the program of village level livestock examination and treatment; conservation to protect key flora and fauna in the project region; systems investigation and monitoring to study production
systems, formulate range management plans and monitor agroecological indicators; and training and project management.

The IDA funding for CRRDP I terminated on December 31, 1987. To help carry over activities until the new credit became effective, a project preparation facility (PPF) of US$1.3 million was used to fund ongoing activities,
especially animal health services and water point construction. Effectiveness of CRRDP II was delayed until September 1989 and by then civil conditions were making field operations difficult, and they were finally halted in late 1990. Project expenditures covered little more than the continuing operations funded under the PPF such that the Credit was only 10 percent disbursed. Therefore, OED has not rated the project. No audit is planned.

Farahaane Irrigation Rehabilitation Project

The project, supported by Credit 2063-SO for SDR 21.2 million (US$28.5 million equivalent) was approved in FY90. A total of SDR 1.53 million (7 percent) was disbursed. The undisbursed balance of SDR 19.67 million was canceled in July 1995.

The objectives of the project were to rehabilitate the civil works and improve support services in the Farahaane irrigation area and contiguous areas served by two existing barrages. It was also to improve management of the irrigation system, and strengthen services such as extension, input supply, on-farm trials and demonstrations, and cost recovery mechanisms.

A PPF was approved in FY85 for design work on irrigation improvement in the lower Shebeli plain. This developed into two projects, one of which was Farahaane. A supplemental PPF was approved in FY88 for preparation of
detailed design and bidding documents. The project became effective in March 1990. Beyond work to let initial contracts, no work was done and activities were terminated with the onset of civil war in late 1990. Under these
circumstances, OED has not rated the project. No audit is planned.

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