Abyan: Neglected Agricultural Potential and Struggle for Crops


Tue, 28-12-2021 03:52 PM, Aden

Reem Al-Fadhli (South24) 

Abyan governorate in South Yemen, is one of the most diverse agricultural producing governorates in the country. This governorate is characterized by its moderate climate and fertile soil. Abyan is famous for its 15 valleys, as well as the torrents that descend from different regions of the country and pass through them to drain into the waters of the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. (1)

The arable areas in the governorate, which have an estimated area of 21,489 km², are divided into three, the first of which is the coastal areas which includes (Abyan Delta, Ahur Delta, Yarames), which constitute the largest agricultural areas of the governorate in terms of area. Then come the mid-rise areas; It includes the areas of (Lauder, Mudiyah, Al-Mahfad, Sibah, Sawad, Rasd), and it ranks second in terms of agricultural area. While the mountainous areas (Jaishan, Damman) come in third place in terms of agricultural area. (2)

Agricultural lands in Bates area, Khanfar district, Abyan governorate (South24, Abdelilah Omairan)

Abandoned food basket

Abyan produces many diverse agricultural crops, which constitute 5% of the agricultural production in Yemen (3). Cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables, as well as cotton and coffee, are the most important crops produced by the governorate. The total number of production of these crops increased between 2004 and 2009, reaching 228,141 tons. (4)

Qat, which is used by some, is also grown in a minority in the governorate.

Despite all these capabilities that Abyan has, according to officials in the agricultural sector in the governorate, it suffers from neglect.

The director of the Governorate's Agriculture and Irrigation Office, Fadel Hussein Al-Haythami, told "South24" that "Despite its ability to raise the level of the country's economic income significantly, the neglect and indifference to this jewel was present from every government that took turn running the country."

Al-Haythami pointed out that, "Over the years, the agricultural sector in Abyan has been a source of income for the majority of citizens, as 70% of the governorate's population depends on agriculture for their livelihood."

He continued, "One of the things that most affected the performance of the agricultural sector in Abyan is the cessation of government support for farmers, especially in the field of agricultural inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, white loans, and pest control on the agricultural or animal side."