Lending bank approves YR 1.3 billion for agricultural development,Yemen realizes increase in fruits production [Archives:2003/648/Business & Economy]

July 7 2003

Mahyoub Al-Kamaly
The Cooperative Agricultural Lending Bank in Yemen has drawn up a YR 1.3 billion worth plan for agricultural development aimed at increasing production of fish wealth for this year, building refrigerator stores, increasing agricultural products industries and improving their quality, in addition to raising agricultural products exports and encouraging the growing of date palm trees for production of Yemeni date syrup.
A Bank statistic has reported that during the past period of this year the bank has granted loans amounting to YR246.431.955 for funding 1908 projects. Agricultural indicators point out that the policy of agriculture reform in Yemen has achieved good results. The area grown with banana trees has during the past 5 years increased to a high proportion as the volume of its production amounted to about 96 thousand tons in a land area of more than 10 thousand hectares. Mango production also was increased to 111 thousand tons during its growing season extending from March to April. The number of private sector farms specialized in growing certain plants reached to 200 farms containing 3000 mango plants.
The Yemeni agricultural environment is unique in planting the papaya fruit tree, the production of which in 2001 has reached to 70 thousand tons produced in a land area of 4536 hectares. Agricultural surveys also point out that there are opportunities for investing in growing the babe and exporting it to foreign markets.
Yemen grapes product occupies the second position among fruits production. Production of grapes grown individual hectare amounted to about 6-7 thousand tons while Yemen's annual production of grapes is estimated at 175 thousand tons. The season of exporting the best quality kind of Yemeni grapes, called al-Razziqi which is characterized by its high sweet taste, begins every year from 15 July.
As for orange fruit production, indicators point out that Yemen produces about 159 thousand tons. Feasibility studies indicate the possibility of increasing the production of grapes and exporting to external markets. Statistics also demonstrate that Yemen possesses a huge reservoir of potato production of high competitive quality and exporting power especially to Gulf markets. Potato production season in Yemen is within the period of July to December which a time its agriculture in other Arab areas is not possible.
Yemen production of onion amounts to 180 thousand tons a year. It is one of the best kinds of onions in the region's countries. Its production can be expanded to be able to export it to Gulf markets.
The ministry of agriculture is presently studying drawing up plans for increasing agriculture of vegetables and fruits and cereals in order firstly to attain a self-sufficiency and secondly to develop their exportation to create new sources for the national income and to curb the rise of deficit in the public budget.