On a yearly basis, Yemen’s Socotra experiences a ruthless south-west monsoon season ripping through the archipelago’s lands, leading to the closure of its air and sea ports.
This year, fruit plantations developed by the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation have survived May’s hurricane-strength winds, enabling Socotran farmers to develop the fertile land and improve their economic situation.
Local sales centres have been developed where farmers can sell their produce, including fruit and vegetables, meat and poultry, among other sources of food.
Currently, the Khalifa Foundation is working on building fruit and vegetable nurseries across different areas of the island. These nurseries and farms will not only help develop the sustainable agricultural sector in the archipelago, but also ease the financial burden on the island’s residents, as the import of foodstuff into Socotra greatly increased prices, especially during the monsoon season, where a kilo of bananas could reach a price point of 2,500-3,000 Yemeni Riyals.
Women’s empowerment is also fostered via the development of the farming sector, where Socotran women are encouraged to farm their lands, providing a source of income for their families as well readily available access to much-needed nutrition.
Ayad Ali Mohammed Al Bakrin, who supervises the project’s fruit and dates production plan, said that Khalifa Foundation’s efforts in Socotra will continue to be carried out. He thanked Khalfan Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Khalifa Foundation representative, for his continued efforts to ensure the agriculture sector thrives in Socotra.