Sawt Al-Amal (Voice of Hope) – Alia’a Mohammed
The agricultural sector is one of the most important productive sectors driving the economy of every country, as it makes an effective contribution to achieving food security and achieving the greatest degree of self–sufficiency in food products. To learn more about this sector, we had a meeting with the expert and academic in agricultural economics and strategic planning, Dr. Muhammad Abdullah Al–Hamiri.
Doctor, first of all, what is the role of the agriculture sector in achieving food security?
The agricultural sector has a pivotal and vital role in supporting food security in Yemen, by moving the wheel of the economy in general, as it is a sector that deals with the largest geographical and population scope in the Republic. The population of the country, whether those who live in the countryside and constitute the majority, or those who live in cities and urban areas, especially those who work in marketing and agricultural trade activities.
In the light of the challenges facing food security in Yemen, what are the best ways to deal with the agricultural sector?
This important sector must be dealt with according to a new investment strategy commensurate with the economic and future importance on one hand, and the current security importance on the other hand. To obtain a qualitative, effective and practical strategy that focuses on the most important activities of this sector with a monetary methodology that raises the degree of adequacy of the investment of resources and the huge potentials used in this vital and important sector, which is supposed to operate the production, marketing, manufacturing and export aspects of local agricultural products, development of the base of production services and investment in the agricultural sector, especially in the countryside; To achieve more vertical and horizontal development in spaces and in various production and marketing capacities.
Is there a joint national strategy for developing productive capacities?
There are many previously drawn visions for the development of agricultural production, and these visions must be based on an effective, productive, economic and marketing approach that achieves future alignment between the various strategies and policies in the various main productive components of the economy in the sectors (agricultural, fishery, industrial, commercial, tourism and service) with the aim of facilitating the issue of implementing the executive mechanism for each of these plans and ensuring that the performance of these five main sectors does not conflict.
How do you think this strategy is implemented?
First, we must consider the components of services devoted to developing the agricultural sector and achieving rural growth in the country through regular evaluation processes, and periodic follow-ups to reach an appropriate agricultural service environment or the so-called business incubators in the agricultural sector.
Therefore, we need to implement national, governmental, cooperative and private institutional projects and programs that guarantee the continuity of support and enhancement of agricultural production and marketing capacities, and achieve sufficiency and optimal utilization of the available support resources, whether in the Agricultural and Fisheries Production Promotion Fund, or with other development funds, projects and institutions, represented by: The Agricultural Research Authority, the Tihama Development Authority in T, the General Organization for Seed Reproduction, the General Corporation for the Development and Production of Grain, the General Corporation for Agricultural Services, the General Company for Potato Production, the Agricultural and Fish Production Promotion Fund, the Cooperative and Agricultural Credit Bank, and agriculture and irrigation offices in various governorates, and in the rest of the country. Components or agricultural projects that are affiliated with the Ministry.
What are the most important challenges facing the agricultural sector in the country?
There are a number of weakness factors that our country could not get rid of previously, so what about the situations we are going through now that have caused a widening gap between the needs of agricultural producers and the ability to respond to them by the existing agricultural institutions, so that we find ourselves facing additional major present and future challenges, the most important of which is the limited water And suitable and reclaimed arable lands, and competition in prices and quality of foreign products on the one hand, and on the other hand, the weakness of basic domestic production and investment capacities, skilled labor and limited investments directed to the agricultural sector, which must double in quantity and quality to serve this important sector.
How can we face these challenges?
At the outset, we must stand with responsibility and firmness based on a comprehensive evaluation review, and this review should extend to accommodate the totality of the current and previous situations and challenges, in addition to harnessing all available energies to raise the production and marketing capabilities of the agricultural sector, through improving the management process and exploiting agricultural natural, material and human resources at the level and form that can be relying on it in the development and development of many major agricultural crops for food security, including cereal crops, legumes and oil crops, as well as some fruit crops and cash crops of high quality and international and historical fame, such as coffee, honey, raisins and Yemeni grapes of all kinds and features.
Add to this the important vegetable and fruit crops that currently have a large area or that can be expanded due to their importance, such as potatoes, tomatoes, onions, palms, pomegranates, mangoes, papayas, almonds, apples, and other crops that are generally well cultivated in Yemen. In order to reach the stage of full operation of all the energies and resources that constitute an element of strength, the most important of which are:
-There are many qualified and trained Yemeni agricultural expertise and competencies required to work in the early stages of implementing the plan to increase the country’s productive and marketing agricultural capacity.
– The presence of a good group of scientific institutions from agricultural colleges and institutes includes many scientific departments and disciplines that need the issue of implementing this vision at various target stages.
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