Business

Food security in Sa’ada

Rarely is the term “food security” used in traditional society, and Sa’ada in no exception.  However, providing the basic requirements of nourishment and nutrition is common to everyone in the world.

Many citizens of Sa’ad are forced to subsist on low-quality food which does not fulfill nutritional standards, and does not provide the requisite nutrients for children’s growth.

And considering a loaf of bread is the main ingredient for any meal for the citizens in Sa’ada, as in most areas of Yemen, then getting enough of the bread became associated with the availability of white flour, as well as wheat –  both of which are imported to the governorate.

There is some local production of cereals in the province of all kinds of wheat, corn, and barley. Rural areas of Sa’ada had been until recently producing this grain in abundance and exporting it to supermarkets in the capital of the province even faraway provinces.

Other than the loaf of bread there are other types of vegetables and legumes that are essential components of food in Sa’ada.

It can be said that the capital of the governorate is maintaining a decent level of supply for food supplements, in addition to the canned food available at the supermarkets as well as the grocery stores in the countryside.

As for the two types of meat, beef and lamb, and in spite of the fact that the majority of the residents of Sa’ada, are raising animals in varying numbers, this type of food is rarely eaten due to its high prices, and citizens replace it with local chicken, as frozen chicken is not suitable for rural areas, owing to the lack of refrigeration.

It is important to note the increase of qat cultivation in the province, which threatens food security of the citizens, wastes water reserves, and claims land which could be cultivated with  food grains, and other desperately-needed staples.

However, there is a growing feeling among the citizens in Sa’ada who have agricultural lands of the importance of their dependence on what they grow to ensure a measure of self-sufficiency of their food needs.

Perhaps this feeling has emerged through the periods of warfare, six in total, between the government and the Houthis experienced since 2004, and which has not been totally defused ever after.

Large areas of Sa’ada were besieged during the wars, and citizens were not able to bring the basics of food from outside the province, especially wheat and white flour, as well as legumes, vegetables and canned goods, rice, sugar, and so on.

On this basis, citizens in Sa’ada went through various stages of food crisis during the conflict, and had to make temporary solutions, such as opening risky new pathways of smuggling food from neighboring provinces.

On the other hand, citizens tended remarkably to the cultivation of wheat, corn and several varieties of vegetables to survive the period. Sa’ada is famous for cultivation of many fruits, pomegranates, grapes and oranges, despite the current troubles.

There is a growing trend which understand the need to reactivate the effectiveness of the countryside as a main contributor in the production of basic foods.

And maybe the Huthi group in Sa’ada and the surrounding areas might adopt this approach by asserting among his followers the importance of food independence and self-reliance

Rarely is the term “food security” used in traditional society, and Sa’ada in no exception.  However, providing the basic requirements of nourishment and nutrition is common to everyone in the world.

Many citizens of Sa’ad are forced to subsist on low-quality food which does not fulfill nutritional standards, and does not provide the requisite nutrients for children’s growth.

And considering a loaf of bread is the main ingredient for any meal for the citizens in Sa’ada, as in most areas of Yemen, then getting enough of the bread became associated with the availability of white flour, as well as wheat –  both of which are imported to the governorate. There is some local production of cereals in the province of all kinds of wheat, corn, and barley.

Rural areas of Sa’ada had been until recently producing this grain in abundance and exporting it to supermarkets in the capital of the province even faraway provinces.

Other than the loaf of bread there are other types of vegetables and legumes that are essential components of food in Sa’ada.

It can be said that the capital of the governorate is maintaining a decent level of supply for food supplements, in addition to the canned food available at the supermarkets as well as the grocery stores in the countryside. As for the two types of meat, beef and lamb, and in spite of the fact that the majority of the residents of Sa’ada, are raising animals in varying numbers, this type of food is rarely eaten due to its high prices, and citizens replace it with local chicken, as frozen chicken is not suitable for rural areas, owing to the lack of refrigeration.

It is important to note the increase of qat cultivation in the province, which threatens food security of the citizens, wastes water reserves, and claims land which could be cultivated with  food grains, and other desperately-needed staples.  However, there is a growing feeling among the citizens in Sa’ada who have agricultural lands of the importance of their dependence on what they grow to ensure a measure of self-sufficiency of their food needs.

Perhaps this feeling has emerged through the periods of warfare, six in total, between the government and the Houthis experienced since 2004, and which has not been totally defused ever after. Large areas of Sa’ada were besieged during the wars, and citizens were not able to bring the basics of food from outside the province, especially wheat and white flour, as well as legumes, vegetables and canned goods, rice, sugar, and so on.

On this basis, citizens in Sa’ada went through various stages of food crisis during the conflict, and had to make temporary solutions, such as opening risky new pathways of smuggling food from neighboring provinces.

On the other hand, citizens tended remarkably to the cultivation of wheat, corn and several varieties of vegetables to survive the period. Sa’ada is famous for cultivation of many fruits, pomegranates, grapes and oranges, despite the current troubles.

There is a growing trend which understand the need to reactivate the effectiveness of the countryside as a main contributor in the production of basic foods.

And maybe the Huthi group in Sa’ada and the surrounding areas might adopt this approach by asserting among his followers the importance of food independence and self-reliance