Qat production must be reduced [Archives:2004/759/Letters to the Editor]

August 29 2004

Najla Abu-Taleb
[email protected]

In response to a letter which condemns the consumption of qat and its dire socio-economic consequences on individuals, families, societies and eventual reverberations on the state.
Yemenis potential is hopeful, yet the quagmire of relations between producers, users, and the state is really quiet alarming, as is the effect of eventual malaise qat has had on Yemeni society.
Qat production should be reduced, working hours increased and consumption restricted to the weekends, namely Thursday and Fridays. Yemen's fertile ground could be used in producing fruit and vegetables rather, than in the import of poorer quality perishable goods which is often more costly to the average buyer.
I guess the failure to see this simple alternative, would illustrate the strength of the qat economy, surely it is the duty of every government to implement the best for its countries' development and its people, that is the tenet of parliamentary representative politics, and the idea of accountability of parliamentarians to their citizens.
Failure to implement a comprehensive program of education on qat, and marginalize the profiteers from this time consuming habit, is counterproductive to some of the fundamental steps that Yemen has undertaken in democratization and the development of the country and its people.