Restoring agriculture livelihoods
Abdurrahman Hassan Farhan Gird is a 27-year-old farmer and a father of two from Wadi Nakhlah, Maqbana District in Ta’iz Governorate of Yemen. Over the past seven years, Abdurrahman’s ability to maintain his livelihood and put food on the table has been threatened by a combination of factors aggravated by the ongoing conflict.
Economic deterioration, damages to vital irrigation infrastructure, his dependency on inefficient irrigation methods and the vulnerability of his land to the impact of flooding, left him in constant fear of the future. As a coping strategy, Abdurrahman built rudimentary and relatively costly dams to protect his land and crops from floods. Yet, seasonal flooding continued to flush away his land, crops and hopes in a blink of an eye.
With support from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme and the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Yemen implemented the “Smallholder agricultural production restoration and enhancement” project. The project supported vulnerable small scale farming households across Yemen through financing community initiatives to increase smallholders’ production, income and food security. In Abdurrahman’s village, the project constructed and rehabilitated floodwalls and irrigation canals, enabling Abdurrahman to sustainability irrigate and protect his flood-prone land from erosion.
“We have benefited greatly from this project. Most importantly, through the protection of our land from soil erosion. The construction of irrigation canals has saved us a lot of trouble and money…we can now irrigate our land any time, as these canals have improved the availability of water, unlike in the past,” said Abdurrahman.
According to Abdurrahman, the project has given a new lease of life to farmers in his community and renewed their hopes. They can now confidently invest in their land and help their communities persevere during the crisis. The project supported 157,000 households between August 2017 and June 2021. Out of these, 22,660 families like Abdurrahman’s benefited from strengthened land and water management to address water scarcity and mitigate the impact of flooding.