Grapes agriculture needs promotional studiesPlans for increasing production [Archives:2004/778/Business & Economy]

October 4 2004

The first Grapes Festival, recently organized in Sana'a by the ministry of agriculture in association with Thahban Company, has revealed the availability of investment opportunities in production and marketing of such agricultural crops and that the Yemeni agricultural policy is lacking of promotional studies aimed at attracting capitals for investment in the agricultural sector, increasing the production of grapes. The production volume of grapes is at present estimated at about 168824 tons a year.
The festival has also disclosed that the diversity of climate in Yemen is convenient to growing more than 40 species of grapes, being marketed during period of June to November. There are spacious agricultural areas for growing grapes over areas amounting to 22870 hectares of the total arable land in Yemen which is estimated at 1668858 hectares.
The map of agricultural crops revealed that grapes occupy the number 19 on the list of the area grown with cereals, vegetables, fodders and fruits. Meanwhile the quantity of exported fresh and dried grapes is estimated at about 719 tons of a value of 316.795 million riyals, according to last year's exports statistics.
Despite of the deterioration of grapes exports the festival, organized under the motto “From Scarcity to Abundance”, has attracted the attention of private sector agricultural sector to the importance of planning for the expansion in production of this crop of which Yemen produces three kinds in white, red and black colours and 40 species, most renowned are the Al-A'simi, Raziqi, Zaytouni and al-Jaborandi they match world species.
According to the map of yearly statistics, the governorate of Sana'a occupies the first place in the area of growing grapes, which is estimated at 18478 hectares with an average of annual production of 135141 tons, come the governorates of Saada with n area of 3514 hectares; with 30415 tons, Al-Jawf, 731 hectares with a production rate of 2433 tons and followed by Mareb, Thamar, Hajjah by less proportions.
Studies confirm that consuming grapes as nutritious stuff is very useful for the human and supplies his body with vitamins, mineral salts, sugar material and has many medical benefits and for curing some diseases.
The ministry of agriculture and Thahban Company has at the end of the festival honoured producers of grapes to encourage them to increase the production of this crop and raise the volume of exports to external markets.