Yemeni agricultural products banned [Archives:2006/959/Front Page]

June 29 2006

SANA'A, June 28 ) Saudi authorities have banned the import of Yemeni agricultural products, such as vegetables and fruits, according to a source wishing to remain anonymous. Yemeni farmers will sustain heavy losses until products are allowed to cross the Saudi frontier once more. In the meantime, many agriculture goods destined for export to the Saudi market have become worthless.

The Yemeni weekly newspaper Al-Wahda reported that farmers in the governorate of Saada sent a complaint to the agricultural cooperative union that 90 percent of Saada residents depend on agriculture, that they were pleased that a border agreement was singed by Yemen and Saudi Arabia. According to the complaint, residents began to expand their agricultural produce for the purpose of selling their products to Saudi Arabia. When Saudi authorities closed the Alab crossing preventing agricultural products from entering Saudi territory, Saada residents were taken by surprise.

The farmers demand that the Yemeni government discuss the matter with the Saudis to gain permission for crops enter to be exported to Saudi Arabia by nearest crossing to Saada. The Alab crossing lies only 30 km from Saada, while the next closest crossing is 300 km away.

Sources at the cooperative union said that the union has sent memos to the deputy minister of Planning and International Cooperation, the head of the Yemeni delegation of the preparatory committee of the Yemeni-Saudi Coordination Council and to the deputy minister of Industry and Trade, head of the Yemeni delegation to the Yemeni-Saudi technical team.

The memos requested the two officials to contact Saudi authorities in order to resolve the problem in a timely fashion so that Saada residents can resume exports in accord with agreements signed by the two countries regarding trade.