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  • Friday, December 1, 2023 at 9:14 AM
    Last Update : Monday, December 4, 2023 at 1:46 PM

Yemeni Official to AWP: Project to Support Cash Crops Under FAO Initiative

(AWP) - The Yemeni government is preparing a project to support cash crops like onions, honey and coffee in order to bring them back to the forefront as key products in the country, the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Fish Wealth has said.

In an interview with Arab World Press (AWP), Maj. General Salem Abdullah al-Socotri said that the planned project, the details of which have not yet been revealed, will emphasize crops for which Yemen has always been famed, including coffee.

“We now have an imminent project, supported by the Islamic Bank and the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY), to boost cash crops like onions, honey and coffee. These crops have been earmarked to regain the leading position for which they were once famous, particularly coffee, which we consider a top cash crop in Yemen. We have been selected  under the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) initiative as a producer country, and our chosen product was coffee, which we will support and directly promote,” he said.

We plan to found the National Center for Coffee at the Ministry in a way that is distinct from the past. We have worked with many organizations to give coffee a shot in the arm, and to promote it with local organizations in private-sector agricultural and fish cooperatives,” he added.

The Yemeni minister referred to work underway in various provinces to enhance the fisheries sector.

“There has been hard work in several provinces to build centers for fisheries, ice and other services. These projects are under construction. Some of them have already been handed over, while others will be active as of early next year. In addition, there is a fish wealth harbor project that is being financed by the German government or the German Development Bank (KfW) to the tune of $35 million, with the objective of rehabilitating the harbour in Hujayf,” Socotri explained.

“We go step by step. We have great ambition that this sector will lead once again, no matter what the challenge. We have the necessary resolve at the Ministry, in cooperation with Arab Coalition countries, as well as donors in the region. We are also in constant coordination with specialized UN agencies concerned with food and animal wealth in the promotion of cash crops,” he noted.

The minister asserted that the SDRPY was exerting tremendous efforts to support fishing boats and production chains.

“The SDRPY is a key supporter at the regional level in different activities in Yemen’s agricultural and fish wealth sector,” he said.

“There is also a project, discussed a week ago by the Small and Micro Enterprise Promotion Service (SMEPS), to support the coffee and honey crops through joint financing by the Islamic Bank and the SDRPY. There have been tremendous efforts in different spheres in all provinces as far as promoting the fish wealth and agricultural sectors are concerned,” Socotri noted.