Saisaban tree eats up agricultural lands [Archives:2008/1190/Health]

September 15 2008

Almigdad Mojalli
Farmers in the southern, eastern and western governorates of Yemen like Hadramout, Abyan, Lahj and Tehama are suffering from the tremendous spread of Prosopic Goly Flora, known locally as “Al-Saisaban tree.”

A large thorny, leaf-bearing tree that grows like a weed and often occupies farm lands, Al-Saisaban does need any care or special planting and is strongly resistant to climate change including drought.

Many people in Hadramout, Tehama and the southern governorates claim that the British brought this tree with them to Yemen during their occupation of south Yemen.

Awad Omer Ba Dass, 69, a farmer from Maifa'a district in the Hadramout governorate, witnessed the beginnings of Al-Saisaban tree in Yemen. Ba Dass said that the first emergence of Al-Saisaban tree was during the period between 1963-1964 when a British agricultural expert with a friend arrived at Bayr Ali and asked the Sultan Alawi Al-Wahedi to give him a piece of land to plant it.

According to Ba Dass, the British expert planted many species of plants such as rice, ginger, lemon and saisaban in the land he was given. The Sultan noticed that there was one tree that had never been seen in Hadramout at that time. When the sultan asked the expert about the name of this tree, the he replied “Saisaban.”

When the sultan asked about the advantages of this tree