AGRISH 2000: Acquainting Farmers with Modern Agricultural Technology [Archives:2000/20/Health]
The Third Agricultural Show (AGRISH 2000) concluded its 5 day function last Saturday at the AREA compound in Dhamar. Regardless of the important aims of the show and the success it achieved, there were some points that struck my mind as I covered the event. Firstly, the show was held in Dhamar which is far away from other governorates. Many farmers from remote areas did not have the opportunity to attend the event for the long tiring distance involved. What if the show was held in a number of governorates rather than confining it to one place? I am sure that the success of the show would have been more spectacular and more farmers would have attended and benefited from such an event. Another thing that attracted my attention was the absence of any role given to farmers for whom the show was held. Farmers, in fact, did not know what they were supposed to do in the show. The significant role was actually played by the well-known companies to exhibit their agricultural equipment. Unfortunately, farmers were not qualified enough to present their suggestions for the improvement of the technology of agriculture. However, the event was a success despite all this and the limited funding.
As I left the show my mind was preoccupied with of many other things about agriculture itself. I thought of many neglected agricultural projects in Tihamah, Sordood, Abyan and other districts. Modern devices and equipment are in dire need of maintenance to improve the quality and quantity of production. I hope that full attention will be paid to those projects.
The Third Agricultural Show was inaugurated last Tuesday in the presence of the Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, ambassadors of Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and the Netherlands to Yemen. The inauguration ceremony was also attended by a number of diplomats, media personnel and others.
Khalil Al-Shargabi, supervisor of the show highlighted the importance of the show which was attended by important people such as the Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation Mr. Ahmad Salim Al-Jabali, Chairman of the Agricultural Cooperative Federation, Governor of Dhamar and a number of ambassadors and diplomats. About 95% of the exhibition stalls were occupied by 42 great companies which exhibited different facets of modern agricultural technology.
Concerning how farmers would benefit from such shows, he said that certain strategies were adopted to make the objectives of the show easy to understand. “We hold a number of competitions for farmers such as the best ploughing and the best animal farm. The exhibition also highlighted modern technology involving how to use wastes as fertilizers or how to improve irrigation. Farmers are also trained on making some cottage industry products such as cheese, pottery, etc.,” he added.
Eiman Abdul Hakim, chairperson of Developing Agricultural Guidance For Rural Women Department talked about women’s stall in the show. “The stall which we organized is not only for women. It is, in fact, supervised by the Guidance sector and the General Authority for Researches. Our work is extended over 6 different districts which all have different strategies. This show includes organizing training courses to qualify women,” she said. She added that their stall included men as well. It is worth noting that women’s stall in the show last year won the first prize.
Mrs Suad Abdul Wali, Assistant Advisor to Women Development Department attended the show for the first time at invitation from the organizers. She deplored the absence of women among the organizers. However, she spoke highly about women’s suit in the show. She hoped that women would get enough encouragement from all authorities concerned.
Eng. Abdul Aziz Saeed Radman, Director of guide systems in the AREA said that AGRISH 2000 was more distinguished than the previous ones. He said that 60% of the show was based on local efforts and that the forthcoming show scheduled to be held next year would be organized by 100% Yemeni efforts. “Even the participants this year are more than those of the previous years,” he added.
Dr. Ismael Moharram, chairman of AREA shed light on the preparation for the show from the very beginning until it was concluded. “Preparation for the agricultural show started in 1997 with the help of the Dutch government which supported the show. Generally speaking, this show aims at acquainting farmers with the production equipment. At the same time, it aims at giving the researchers and companies an idea about such means and equipment as to provide improved technology for farmers. In AGRISH 2000, we tried to avoid the mistakes that occurred during the two last years and so as to make it even better,” he added.
Concerning problems facing the show, Dr. Moharram said that a large part of activities are funded by the Dutch government. However, he said that local funding was gradually improving. In fact, it came to more than 50% this year.
“Farmer’s main problems are related to water, soil and preservation of plants, tress and animal wealth. There is a consultative department which provides farmers with the necessary consultations.
Many farmers visit the show to be familiar with the new technology. Moreover, the show is a good opportunity for workshops owners to know about some of the equipment that can be easily made in Yemen,” he added.
Dr. Mohammed Saleh Al-Mansari, Director of Researches Department in the AREA said that the Researches Department supervised all researches centers. “The AREA includes 8 regional stations along with 5 specialized centers in the republic. These centers always participate in the annual show,” he said.
About his impression about AGRISH 2000, he said that the show achieved its aims.
Eng. Abdullah Abdul Rahman from the Agricultural Information Center hailed the show as a positive step to familiarize farmers with the new technology within the agricultural domain. He hoped that there would be an opportunity for farmers in remote areas to attend such shows by organizing them in different areas.