This National Agriculture Sector Strategy (NASS)for the five year period 2012 – 2016 is a multi-sectoral document which aims to provide a comprehensive guide to the development of agriculture sector, with a special focus on the farmer, and what is needed to improve productivity and increase economic returns. Main objectives in the agriculture sector are: to raise domestic food production through improvement in input supply; to increase farmer awareness, and expand availability of agricultural credit; to fight poverty in the rural community, identified as one of the poorest and most vulnerable segments of the Yemeni population, through higher income to farmers and increased rural employment; to preserve the environment and natural resources, and activate the role of community participation to ensure sustainability; to improve marketing efficiency, decrease post harvest losses and develop exporting capacities.This NASS seeks to reduce food insecurity, mostly using a twin-track approach. Key elements are: to expand production in non-irrigated agriculture, finding the better varieties for rain-fed agriculture that are both drought and salinity resistant; to establish and support private sector industry for seeds and nursery material quality, providing farmers with improved varieties of seeds; to study the need for a Strategic Grain Reserve in Yemen and its impacts on market prices; as animals are sold as money, to improve livestock production for small farmers could play a significant role; to expand fruit and vegetable exports to generate foreign exchange is considered an important contribute. Stress is given to the women empowerment: at the micro-level improving access to credit, property rights, equipment and technology, and eliminating forms of abuse in terms of land rights, registration and illegal land looting. At the macro-level, a longer time process requires for a greater representation of rural women in institutional sectors, so that their needs and access to existing resources would be better presented.The main actions in the field of sustainable development concern: the recommendation to implement the international conventions on plant protection and to support integrated pest management programs (IPM) to be applied with farmers to rationalize the use of pesticides and reduce harms to consumer health and safety of the environment; promoting policies for disease control aiming to reduce mortality and the spread of livestock diseases through preventive programs and quality veterinary services to protect the human being and ensure the quality and safety of animal products. Establish national grades and standards for major fruits and vegetables, especially for exported ones, including enforcement and inspection protocols and a communication strategy. The aforementioned actions will support employment generation, private and cooperative sectors development which will promote Yemen’s national economic development in a sustainable manner.Rural incomes for non-farming families need to be raised, with elaboration of policies aiming to the development of poor and landless farmers. Also subsistence farmers need to be encouraged, offering them association formation, access to improved inputs and knowledge, and more marketing channels for their saleable products. Is contemplated as well the possibility to expand the distribution of animals for the poor people. The constraint of water resources is addressed by promoting community participation in water management and involvement of farmers, water users associations, cooperative and private sector.To allow the farmers to profit maximally from their work, creation of marketing cooperatives, associations, or community level groups can greatly assist in the expansion of value to the farmer. Commercial producers can also benefit from creation of industry-wide associations. Strengthening the role of cooperatives and associations will require extensive training in functions of cooperatives either directly or through intermediary groups such as the Agricultural Cooperative Union or other MAI departments. In addition, the related laws and regulations should be reviewed. There is also an important role for NGOs and donor organizations to assist in developing community level cooperatives.Land degradation and desertification are also significant issues that need both study and policies to prevent land from being taken out of cultivation. Main strategies are: improve forage availability through pilot projects and study of grasses and forage that will grow in rain fed areas and anti-desertification plants; improve productivity of livestock producers by improving natural pasture, identifying appropriate ground cover and estimating livestock population that can be supported on improved pasture land; develop regulations that will conserve the improved pasture land; combat desertification and land degradation in the mountainous areas and lower-lands rangelands through integrated management of natural resources with focus on water and vegetative cover, including using low quality water in dryer environments. Invest in programs related to climate changes according to National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA) for submission to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) including development of related strategies; establish wind breaks and enhance water management. These activities should be carried out in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency.
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