A recently publicized study raises questions about the ability of Yemen’s food supply system to maintain the country’s growing population over the long term. Agricultural output in Yemen has been slowing consistently, and this, coupled with a 3.7 percent average annual growth in the Yemeni population, raises a specter of a non-self-sufficient nation in a few years’ time.
According to the study, the Yemeni population will total 27.5 million by 2010, up from the currently estimated 17.5 million. By that stage, the country will need at least eight million tons of grains to satisfy local consumption—a sum that is way beyond the current production capacity of the local agricultural sector.
According to the Al-Hayat daily, the Yemenis consume nearly two million tons of wheat and flour each year. The value of the Yemeni food imports amounts to $540 million per annum. Of this, wheat import accounts for $40 million.
Growing food demand is likely to further raise agricultural imports in the near future, especially that of wheat, wheat flour and rice. — (MEBG-Albawaba)
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