“Not to ignore the role of rural women” said official [Archives:2007/1099/Local News]

November 1 2007

By: Ismail Al-Ghabri
SANAA, Oct, 31 ) Under the theme “The Right to Food”, the Ministry of Agriculture organized in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization organized last Monday, October,29 a celebration on the occasion of the World Food Day and World Rural Woman Day.

In the celebration in which a number of agricultural cooperative associations, Eng Nouria Y Al-Mubrah, Director-General of Rural Woman Development, delivered a speech in which she said that the Yemeni rural woman has a major role in the field of agriculture with 70 percent.

She also pointed out that rural women in Yemen have a vital role in providing food whether for their families or villages or communities throughout their contribution and hard work in lands and with animals as well.

She went on to say that the state represented by its institutions including the political parties should also seek to promote the developmental process so as to increase the level of the social, economic, health and educational standards of rural women in all fields.

“This can be done by delivering ruminative projects, training courses and finding suitable promotion for rural women’s products.” She also demanded not to ignore the role of the rural women as well as to work on to fight poverty by finding microfinance projects in order to increase the level of social and economic standards using financial and administrative mechanisms easy to be used for rural women.

Al-Mubrah also requested the state to achieve comprehensive and sustainable development by involving rural women in the process of economic development to ensure the economic support for women.

The state should also work on providing food safety within general guidelines and strategies, programs and microfinance enterprises which serve the rural women.

For his part, Dr. Manssour Al-Hawshabi, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation stressed the importance of the agricultural field and its role in achieving food safety and minimizing the food gap.

Al-Hawshabi also pointed out that field of agriculture in Yemen plays a very important role in reducing the brunt of poverty through providing job opportunities for around 75 percent of the rural local residents.

He went on to say that the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation will raise the amount of the production of wheat, cereals and other crops by providing farmers with sophisticated agricultural equipments and seeds.

The minister further declared that the ministry of agriculture had decided to intervene to encourage producing cereals particularly wheat throughout providing improved seeds for farmers and encouraging agricultural extension as well as providing inputs of the agricultural production such as fertilizers, manures and distributing tractors and other agricultural equipments.

The ministry will also approve loans paid in low monthly installments given for farmers growing cereals as well as purchasing their crops at good prices. YR 100. Millions are allocated for the agricultural extension and YR 100 millions will be given for improved seeds, the minister added.

He also approved a loan operation for cereals’ farmers via the Cooperative and Agricultural Credit Bank (CAC).

Furthermore, Dr. Hashim J. A-Shami, Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, representative in Yemen stated, “Our planet produces enough food to adequately feed its entire population. Yet tonight, 854 million women, men and children will go to sleep on an empty stomach. “The Right to Food” has been chosen to be the theme of this year’s World Food Day so that the voice of the disadvantaged may be heard. The theme reflects the international community’s growing awareness fo the crucial of human rights in eradicating hunger and poverty”.

He also confirmed that the right to food is being written into national constitutions. It also features in legislative texts, regulations and strategies. Social programs provide more ways of claiming the right to food., thus, making it easier for all citizens to enjoy their rights.

“People need to be aware of their rights and of how to claim those rights. Officials need to know their obligations and how to fulfill them. While legal obligations rest with the State, all members of society individuals, organizations, NGOs and the private sector have responsibilities with regard to the right to food.”

A-Shami further confessed that despite the progress made, putting the right to food into practice still remains a challenge for countries and development practitioners.

” The Right to Food calls for a shift in paradigm from charity to rights. Ensuring that every human being has an adequate and stable supply of food is more than a moral imperative or an investment with potentially huge economic returns: it is the realization of a basic human right. And the world has the means to realize that right.”

However, the Food And Agriculture Organization administers in Yemen many programs of the technical cooperation such as strengthening Restructuring and Decentralization (SSC) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Enhancing Rural People Understanding and Participation in RH/FP and Gender Issues, Emergency responses to control a Desert Locust outbreak, Strengthening the Food Control System and Establishing a National Codex Committee in the Republic of Yemen.