SDRPY Establishes Association for Agricultural Revival in Yemen
AL-JAWF, Yemen / 18 February 2020 – The Ma’in Association, the first agricultural society in the Yemeni province of Al-Jawf approved in accordance with the Yemeni law on NGOs and private institutions, has been established under the auspices of the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY). The association will work to provide products and services to Yemeni farmers and help develop the agriculture sector in Al-Jawf Governorate.
The Ma’in Association – named after the ancient Yemeni Kingdom of Ma’in that originated in the first millennium BC – will meet a variety of agriculture sector requirements, adapting old methods to modern ways, contributing to stability in the prices of goods and services, training citizens in project management and community service, studying needs, and proposing solutions. The association’s activities include plant cultivation, livestock breeding, veterinary services, honey production, product marketing, and reclamation, rehabilitation and development of agricultural land.
Al-Jawf province is well known for numerous crops and accounts for roughly 6% of Yemeni agricultural production. Ma’in Association seeks both to increase output by supplying production essentials to farmers, and to coordinate with donor agencies and international organizations in rendering support to farmers, extending agricultural loans in coordination with relevant authorities, building farmers’ capacities, resolving challenges facing the sector, and developing technologies for achieving excellence.
In establishing the association, SDRPY seeks an exchange of Yemeni and Saudi experiences in sectoral development, including the ways communities work together to benefit society, and to bring the opinions of farmers and officials into the various directorates of the province through the workshops that the program undertakes to address constraints facing agricultural development in the governorate.
SDRPY has launched projects for the installation and operation of greenhouses in several Yemeni governorates, including Hajjah, Al-Mahra and others. Greenhouses are considered among the most recent and important SDRPY initiatives in Yemen, representing a genuine pillar of the Yemeni agriculture sector. As they are unaffected by climatic conditions and offer an environment suitable for year-round cultivation and crop diversification, greenhouses represent a source of constant material returns and constitute a safe method of increasing income and ensuring livelihoods for farmers.
Through drip irrigation, greenhouses contribute to reduced water waste. Condensation from drops evaporated in greenhouses is converted into water suitable for irrigation and is thus reused. Furthermore, greenhouse crops are often grown organically because of the protected environment provided. Production capacity is higher than that of open fields due to the technology used, which helps protect crops from storms and pests.
SDRPY has rehabilitated and drilled over 40 wells in Yemen, equipping them with solar powered pumps to supply enough water to meet the daily demands of local communities for agricultural self-sufficiency. The groundwater of Yemeni farms is a major resource for irrigating land and watering livestock.
Assessing Needs, Expanding Opportunities
SDRPY personnel meet periodically with Yemeni agriculture sector officials, and engineers from the program conduct periodic field visits to rural areas to meet Yemeni farmers and assess needs in coordination with local authorities. SDRPY aims to meet the needs of farmers, improve their income, create jobs, reclaim and cultivate land, support greenhouse projects, and secure agricultural equipment and accessories.
Agriculture is the main source of income for most people in Yemen, with 47.68% of the population directly employed in the sector and more than 70% dependent on it for income. For this reason, SDRPY is keen to empower Yemeni farmers, promoting their occupation as a sustainable source of livelihood for their families. Agricultural projects expand the range of new job opportunities, whether directly or indirectly, making agriculture decisive to Yemen’s recovery.
The Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) has launched several sustainable development projects to support the Yemeni agriculture sector. SDRPY focuses on agricultural projects with sustainable solutions to help achieve food security, increase irrigation, and raise productivity and efficiency.