Mohammed Saif Hamid Al-Khalid : “save nature” [Archives:2000/40/Culture]
I want to save garden endangered plants and shrubs, and to create a centre for attracting tourists to enjoy the magnificent views overlookingAdeem valley, the desert and the gulf of Aden
Mr. Mohammed Saif Hamid Al-Khalid is a UAE citizen of Yemeni origin. He holds an honor degree in system engineering and a master degree in systems and control. He is a member of major engineering institutions. His activity is concentrated around the provision of petroleum engineering expertise and support.
Frequently, Mr. Al-Khalid visits his native village in Turbat Thubhan, Taiz province, in which he has developed medium size agriculture projects divided into three phases, phase one was essentially experimental one and involves approximately 1.5 acres of lands in the neighborhood of new house that was built for his family. The second phase was an expansion in the neighborhood of the first phase which involves approximately six acres. The third phase is in a cliff in an area of approximately three to four acres and it overlooks the Adeem valley and in there endangered species of plants and shrubs are nursed. There are also other fruit trees and in particular coffee plants are grown. It s hoped that the pleasant atmosphere around the year and the magnificent views of the Adeem valley which terminate at the gulf of Aden some 60 to 70 km away will attract tourists to the area.
On the top of his resort, 1960 meters high above sea surface, Mr. Mohammed Al-Hakimi of Yemen Times met with Hamid. Here are the excerpts:
Q: How was the start?
A: I started my farm in 1990 at Hesbara village for my father who doesnt have any other children. I am his only son. In fact, It was a simple start, there was a plenty of water which encouraged me to make farm round my luxurious house which I built for the sake of my father also. I started with an acre and then it was expanded to three acres.
Q: What do you grow in the farm?
A: We grow almost all trees. We grow in the new areas the plants that suits with the weather here. We set aside mangoes because it quite cold here. We concentrate on growing most suitable plants like apples, oranges, citrus trees, guava, pomegranates, mandarins, forest trees, and establishment trees. The first phase of development which surrounded my house is approximately three acre, i.e. nearly thousand square meters. Other plants are also planted like beaches, apricots, olives, coffee, grapes.
Q: Could you tell us about other phases of development of your agriculture project?
A: Well, the second consists of developing approximately 3.5 hectares of land adjacent to the main road connecting Turba. Three more wells were drilled providing sufficient water for the expansion.
The other phase consisted of developing approximately two thousand apple trees, four hundred citrus fruit, two fifty guava trees, four hundred pomegranates, and another trees, four hundred pomegranates and another 400 Another hundred American variety peaches.
Another development was directed towards creating an environmental compound of approximately two hectares where endangered species of plants and shrubs are nursed. Also necessary services such as water tanks, containing about 200 cubic meters of irrigation water and a tourist resort consisting of seven floors for accommodating visitors is being completed.
Q: What is the total area for the three phases of development?
A: It is seven hectares.
Q: What was the total cost of investment?
A: The total gross investment was approximately $3m .
Q: What sort of animals can be seen in the this phase of development?
A: You can see most birds and many little animals which gather round and above the farm. They are never hurt and they feel safe there.
Q: What are your future plans?
A: After the completion of the present development plans, if God wills I shall develop a farm in a virgin land that I have acquired in Nugaiba district near Taiz town in Hodeida which I intend to develop for planting mangoes and palms trees. The area there is approximately five hundred hectares.
Q: What have you done for your village people?
A: I prefer not to answer this question myself.
Then I asked a citizen who informed me the following. He established a Quranic school, water projects, paved roads, built mosques, provided schools for sewing and he intends to perform lots of services highly needed by his neighbors in the village.
Q: What do you hope for?
A: I hope that this project in Turba is fully developed so that we would receive our fair shares of tourist attention, in order to encourage to finance more developments. I hope to develop this land in order to find out the best plans suited for the environment from the point of production and aesthetic aspects and to give special consideration to the ecological aspects for saving garden endangered species of local plants and shrubs, and to create a center for attracting tourist to enjoy the magnificent views overlooking Adeem valley (wadi) and the desert and the gulf of Aden, leading to open desert and terminating at shores of gulf of Aden.
Q: Any last message to improve the locality and to create opportunities for the local population?
A: Additionally we hope to commence a practical model for saving our environment, and to give a practical example for encouraging future investment from within Yemen and abroad.
I hope that the Yemeni government would take practical measures to encourage serious investors by way of reconsidering import duties on essential equipment for for such schemes.