- President Ali Abdullah Saleh has urged Sunday the ministry of agriculture and irrigation to conduct studies by seeking help of experts and technicians for making tests of the soil and extent of its suitability for wheat agriculture especially in governorates of Hudeida and Abyan.
In his address on Sunday to a ceremony for distribution of plows to farmers and agricultural cooperatives in Yemen's governorates the president said the 224 ploughs offered by the Japanese aid include all the governorates and are aimed to encourage agricultural production indicating there are around other 500 ploughs to be purchased from the Czech Republic for he same purpose.
President Saleh pointed out that expansion in planting agricultural crops especially wheat would mitigate great burdens sustained from the bill of Yemen's importation of wheat and indicated that Yemen's production of wheat rose from 130 thousand tons to 217 thousand tons.
He said the people concerns these days are because high prices and expensive living because "we depend on importation from abroad especially of grains and that is why we call on farmers to head towards more of agricultural land reclamation."
The president agreed that water forms a big problem but the government in the past years turned to plans of retaining rain waters and more than 3 thousand water projects were built, including water dams and barriers and those have provided positive return for underground waters.
The president requested to go to agriculture of wheat, maize and millet and said if "we cannot manage to cultivation of wheat in Tihama, Abyan and Lahj at a hoped for production why don't we grow maize and millet?" He also urged the ministry of agriculture and irrigation and other concerned government institutions to adopt information campaigns to inform people on the importance of expansion in arable lands and using them in increasing production of crops especially grains reducing dependence on imported products and working for achieving food security.
On fish wealth the president said, "We have encouraged fish production and fishing and now we export fish worth of more than $300 million." He urged the youth to go to the coasts for fishing. He added that the ministry of agriculture says it has reclaimed more than 1000 hectares of arable lands in main governorates, clarifying these lands are going to be distributed among the youth for the purpose benefiting from them in agriculture according to benefiting contracts.