Khalib Al Humaidi is a sharecropper at the farm of the Sawan Agricultural Society in Yemen. For years, he planted potatoes, earning $50 (10,000 Yemeni Riyals) per harvest for his labor after splitting the profit with the Society. Making ends meet was a struggle. “It was very complicated,” he said.
Nowadays, however, the father of three feels as if a great weight has been lifted off his shoulders. During the last harvest in late 2012, he made $1,500 (300,000 YER) from cucumbers after splitting the profits with the cooperative. He is now in the middle of another harvest and, so far, it looks like the yield will be 12 times that of a traditional field of a similar size of 374 square meters.
Farmer Mahdy Saleh Al Nagar, 25, is one of several Yemeni farmers inspired by innovations at the Sawan demonstration site in Sana’a. The site currently showcases a greenhouse that can produce up to 10 times more vegetables than a traditional field while using 92 percent fewer pesticides than other greenhouses.
The greenhouse also includes a solar panel that powers a humidity-regulating fan, water pump and a highly efficient drip irrigation system that conserves water by 70 percent. To demonstrate further sustainable water solutions in a place where they are most needed, USAID recently completed construction of a rainwater-harvesting system on the site as well.
In the five months that Mohamed Ahmed Alawili and Hassan Al-Mogahed have been working with livestock extension agents from a USAID agricultural support program in Yemen’s Amran governorate, they have witnessed firsthand the benefits USAID is providing to farmers in the country.
The program is a USAID-funded initiative to enhance agricultural production and rural economic development in Yemen. By using the concentrated feed, mineral blocks, vaccinations and training the program provided, Mohamed and Hassan have seen the health and productivity of their sheep increase dramatically.
To help improve and protect the health of people living in the community of Thula, USAID sponsored the rehabilitation of the main cistern, the Jaadan Cistern. The plan to renovate the cistern carefully considered Thula’s historical and cultural importance; the renovators used mainly natural stone materials and a traditional method of plaster called qadad.
Al-Hussein Bin Ali School lies three kilometers north of Al-Qimah village in Amran, at the foot of Thula Mountain, Yemen. People in the village have lived in closely grouped houses since long before Hajj Al-Rowni was born. Al-Rowni is a 70-year-old Shiekh, and it was with his help that USAID brought change to the school.
Last updated: January 14, 2014