Fish and Agriculture Production Needs to be Raised [Archives:2001/48/Business & Economy]

November 26 2001

Mahyoob Al-Kamali
The Fish and Agriculture Promotion Fund has supported the fishermen and farmers in order to increase the agricultural and fish production as well as to meet the demands of local markets, such as fruits, vegetables, and fish. Until now, the Fund has been seeking to reduce the burdens on farmers and to provide the essentials needed to establish main infrastructure facilities such as production, marketing, and storage buildings.
The recent statistics indicate that the Fund has so far financed more than 3,341 programs and projects at a cost of YR 71 million. The statistics also show that the Fund has implemented more than 739 projects in the field of irrigation and water construction at a cost of YR 7 million.
The Fish and Agriculture Promotion Fund carried out all these projects by contracting out the large construction projects.
Agriculture in Yemen needs scientific and financial support to increase its production level. Fishing productivity must also be increased as fish resources are exposed to decay and carelessness. Consequently, the Fund granted loans based on simple interests which were given to the Ministry of Agriculture and the Rural Credit Bank. The Fish and Agriculture Promotion Fund was established in 1993 to improve the economic and living conditions of farmers and fishermen. It contributed a great deal to improvements in agricultural and fishing, as it heavily supported these areas by purchasing, among other things, 420 fishing boats in Meedi, Luhia, Suqatra, Abyan, Bab Al-Mandab and Kamaran. This number represents 50 percent of the total fleet. It also helps them by setting up marketing centers, trade harbors, and factories to can and refrigerate fish.
On the agricultural level, the Fund granted 300 tractors for the cooperative societies under the form of loans without interest. In addition, it supports the infrastructure of the agricultural union. Despite all these forms of assistance, farmers still complain about their low financial conditions and demand the government decrease diesel prices, as it adversely affects their financial revenue and agricultural activities.
Furthermore, farmers as well as fishermen have stressed that loans granted by the Fund are inadequate for them to meet the requirements of their fishing and agricultural activities, in which the diesel share has been increased to 70 percent. Accordingly, they demand an increase of the Fund allocations in the upcoming budget of 2002 in a drive to grant additional simple loans.
In conclusion, the main issues in agricultural and fish production to increase production are the setting up of a successful marketing policy and the construction warehouses providing refrigerators.