Voices: the house that Arte built
Arte Dahir Abdille is a livestock farmer, in Dilla Village, Somaliland. Thanks to 'The Livestock Programme', he learned how to increase his income from livestock. His standard of living improved and he saved enough to build himself a house.
After changing the size of my herd, my income increased and my standard of living too - truly I'm better off.
Managing a herd of 100 goats, sheep and cattle, especially when you can't really afford to feed or treat them properly, is a tough task in any country - but even more challenging in Somaliland, where recurrent drought puts pressure on the environment.
"For more than five years I had a herd of 100 animals, but never benefited much. Instead I incurred more expenses to cater for their needs. I changed my mind when I heard about the benefits of quality over quantity from 'Barnaamijka Xoolaha'," said Abdille.
'The Livestock Programme'
'Barnaamijka Xoolaha', a weekly radio programme about the livestock industry produced by the BBC World Service Trust and broadcast by the BBC Somali Service, helped Abdille make the decision to sell the majority of his herd.
"I learned about the benefits of herding a small number of animals, so I reduced the size of my herd. I kept 12 female goats and sold the rest. Since then I have been able to cater for their needs with ease. I can provide for their feed and treatment without problem."
In addition to making money from the sale of a large number of his cattle, Abdille managed to generate a regular income by selling milk and baby goats. This enabled Abdille to buy materials to build his own house.
"I was able to buy building materials slowly every month until I built myself a permanent house. Before, when I possessed 100 animals, I was living in a shanty. After changing the size of my herd, my income increased and my standard of living too - truly I'm better off."
Abdille has become a bit of a star in his own town, as the secret of his success has gradually been shared.
"My friends who still have large herds are curious to know how I increased my income and profit. They regularly ask me questions and I explain the situation to them. They are now convinced and some have said that they will also change the size of their herd."