Yemen Evaluates Agricultural Exports [Archives:2001/39/Business & Economy]

September 24 2001

Mahyoub Al-Kamali
The president of the republic has urged the Farmers Union in Yemen to coordinate its activities to increase its harvest and export the surplus abroad. The president delivered a speech at the Third Conference for the Agricultural Union, urging Arab countries to open their markets to Yemeni export products within the framework of enhancing economic and commercial cooperation among the countries of the Arab League. The conference has brought attention to the necessity of building dams and water catchments, putting an end to the random and excessive use of insecticides on fruits and vegetables, and scoping out foreign markets. The official statistics indicate that Yemen has exported around 540 tons of fruits and vegetables to neighboring countries. Consequently, the Ministry of Agriculture has implemented the first phase of the agricultural census. The census will provide agricultural data to be used for later agricultural purposes, as well as enable them to learn the reasons behind the decline of agricultural harvests.
Yemen seeks to make use of the harvest, which needs little water and improves farmers’ conditions. Statistics indicate that the Yemen has accomplished self-sufficiency in growing vegetables and fruits. The annual exports’ values total 100 million USD.
The national symposium related to the phenomenon of importing from non-origin countries has recommended activating the activities of the Consumer Protection Society, and adopting new measures to assess the importing processes and controlling the confiscated products in accordance with quality laws. The symposium has come out of several rules to put an end to imported products from non-origin countries. The reports indicate that several foodstuffs have entered our markets illegally after the date of expiration.
The Chairman of Arab Union of the Consumer Protection, Dr. Ibraheem Obaidat, attended the symposium. He calls for crystallizing a heavy scientific system to tackle the problems of consumers within the era of globalization and the market economy. Trade resources have said that products and commodities have been annually imported by Yemen from adjacent countries. The value of imports has reached one billion USD. Yemeni markets lack the necessary potentials and policies to organize the importing marketing processes. The government, therefore, has adopted the free market program within the economic reform program. However, it still does not enact laws to protect the market from the random import, including counterfeited and expired goods and products.
In order to join the WTO, Yemen has to finish the trade legislation to put an end to the negativities of the importation of expired products.
The market processes in Yemen still face many problems such as improper storage of products. What adds fuel to the fire is that the retailers themselves sell their products unscrupulously and disingenuously to the common man.