Yemeni farmers threaten to swap grapes for qat [Archives:2008/1198/Front Page]

October 13 2008

Saddam Al-Ashmori
For the Yemen Times

SANA'A, Oct 11 – Yemeni raisin producers have threatened to replace grapes with qat in their plantations after the loss they sustained this year as a result of not being able to sell all their produce.

Nasser Al-Khawlani, owner of a vineyard, said that the reason behind the low demand for local raisins this year was the presence of other cheap and attractive raisins in the markets, smuggled into Yemen from China.

He further said that, if the government didn't take steps to prevent the smuggling of Chinese raisins into the country, farmers would replace grapes with qat in their lands.

Khalid Al-Dhabiani, grape producer, said: “From our vineyards in Khawlan