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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
04DJIBOUTI525
2004-04-11 15:56:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Djibouti
Cable title:  

DJIBOUTI'S AGRICULTURE MINISTER OPTIMISTIC ON

Tags:   PREL  EAGR  EAID  PGOV  DJ 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L DJIBOUTI 000525 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF AND AF/E
STATE ALSO PASS DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE AND USAID
PARIS FOR NEARY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/11/2014
TAGS: PREL EAGR EAID PGOV DJ
SUBJECT: DJIBOUTI'S AGRICULTURE MINISTER OPTIMISTIC ON
FUTURE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT


Classified By: MARGUERITA D. RAGSDALE.
REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D).



1. (C) During Ambassador's March 30 courtesy call on
Minister of Agriculture Dini Abdallah Bililis, Bililis
expressed gratitude for USAID funding of a livestock
marketing/health certification facility and food security
programs. He also expressed appreciation for the assistance
of Camp Lemonier and the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of
Africa, especially in the area of water resource development.
On the latter, he stressed the importance of program
coordination with his Ministry to balance projects among
donors.



2. (C) The Minister stated that although Djibouti is arid,
agriculture could be developed with abundant water.
Desalinization of may be the best source, and Lac Assal might
benefit most, he added. According to the Minister, studies to
determine Djibouti's agricultural potential are being
undertaken with the help of the Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO), but with a very small funding amount of
USD 10,000. More funding to study Djibouti's potential for
agricultural development is needed, the Minister stated.



3. (C) Current Djiboutian "farming", the Minister continued,
consists of small "orchards" in different areas of the
country, such as in Assamo, As-Eyla, Bankoualeh and Randa,
where vegetables and fruits are currently grown. He said he
realizes that overall development of agriculture in Djibouti
is a real challenge, but that his government plans to move in
"step by step" fashion toward that end, beginning with
reinforcement of existing farming capabilities. According to
Bililis, a plan is afoot for a donor round table with
Djibouti, Morocco, the Islamic Development Bank and FAO to
secure necessary financing of a meaningful agricultural
development program.



4. (C) Bililis also confirmed Djibouti's keenness to develop
its fisheries industry with help from the African Development
Bank. There is the need to protect that industry.
Djibouti's Fisheries Code, he continued, aims more at
guarding Djibouti's waters from foreign fishing vessels
primarily from Yemen and Egypt than at facilitating a
fisheries industry. However, the South African Development
Bank is planning to develop a shrimp farm in Godoria, he
said. The Minister expressed disappointment in an Iranian
investor who had promised to equip the existing port of
Djibouti with modern fishing laboratories, but who ultimately
failed to perform.



5. (C) Comment: The human resource and financial costs of
agricultural development in the absence of a large market,
and the lack of skills in sustained agricultural production,
are the greatest handicaps to full agricultural development
in Djibouti despite Bililis's optimism. End comment.
RAGSDALE