Yemeni farmers to benefit from UN-backed agricultural project
Some 185,000 poor families in Yemen are set to benefit from a new project co-financed by the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) aiming to reduce rural poverty and help farmers cope with the effects of climate change.
IFAD is providing a $16.6 million loan to help fund the new Rainfed Agriculture and Livestock Project which focuses on reducing the degradation of natural resources such as water and soil.
Natural resources are being placed under greater stress by rapidly increasing populations in the governorates of Al-Mahweet, Hajjah, Hodeidah, Lahej and Sana'a, all five of which face drought and water shortages as a result of climate change.
The $42.2 million project seeks to upgrade and diversify agricultural production, while using natural resource management initiatives to help stop and reverse resource degradation.
The project will also assist small farmers, herders, poor landless people and female-headed households to strengthen their processing and marketing systems, as well as support efforts to secure greater access to markets and build more partnerships with the private sector.
In addition, it will help rural households protect vital assets such as soil, water, seeds and animals.
IFAD’s Country Programme Manager for Yemen Abdalla Rahman pointed out that under the project’s farmer-based seed management system, planters will be directly involved in the selection of drought-resistant local seed varieties and produce these varieties for commercial use by other growers.
“The project’s programme of terrace rehabilitation and water harvesting will improve the ability of farmers to cope with climate change,” he added.
The project will also introduce microfinance services and promote the development of new micro-enterprises and income-generating activities.
The current project brings to 19 the total number of initiatives financed by IFAD in Yemen, with a total commitment of $190.9 million.