IOM Pilots Japanese Farming Technology to Mitigate Impact of Recurring Droughts in Somalia

Somalia - IOM, Somalia’s Ministry of Agriculture and a Japanese company, Tottori Resource Recycling Inc. (TRR), are piloting a unique farming technology which will help mitigate the impact of recurring droughts in Somalia.

“Porous Alpha” is an environmentally friendly foamed glass based porous material developed by TRR, which is added to the soil and significantly reduces the need for water in farming. TRR, in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), previously piloted the technology in Morocco, where it achieved 50 percent water-saving and over 20 percent yield increase, with minimum maintenance.

The pilot started this week (23/11) with a partnership agreement signing ceremony with TRR, followed by a technical training for Somali stakeholders, including Food Security Cluster partners.

TRR donated the technology to IOM and will provide technical support and capacity building for its Somali partners. IOM and the Somali Ministry of Agriculture will jointly monitor and document the effectiveness of the technology in the field.

“This unique technology could drastically improve the livelihood of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Somalia, where water is scarce. We are asking partners, in particular donors, to support us to scale up this initiative, which will contribute to not only our drought response, but also to durable solutions for IDPs,” said IOM Somalia Chief of Mission Gerard Waite.

Since 2012, IOM has already partnered with various Japanese partners – Poly-Glu Social Business, Panasonic, Yamaha, and Sumitomo Chemical – to improve the dire situation of IDPs and host communities in the country.

As a follow-up to the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) held in Kenya earlier this year, IOM is currently strengthening its partnerships with Japanese companies.

For further information, please contact IOM Somalia. Dr. Chiaki Ito, Email: or Heidrun Salzer, Email: