Conflicts and natural disasters severely constrain agriculture-related income, which drives farmers, particularly young men, to search for more remunerative sources of income. Before the crisis, at least 70 percent of households in Yemen were dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods, with more than half of the labour force involved in agricultural activities.
After six years of armed conflict and widespread displacement, communal agricultural infrastructure has collapsed (such as water catchments and channels). This has resulted in crop failure, leaving families without the income they need to meet their minimum caloric and micronutrient requirements. Repair and rehabilitation of water infrastructure and irrigation networks is one of the most critical aspects that needs to be addressed to tackle the issue of Yemen’s declining agricultural production and increasing food insecurity.
Irrigation faces significant challenges in the Governorate of Hadramout.
Water availability and rainfall have declined in the area in comparison to previous years. The growth of Al Sedr and Al Somra trees in the wadi path has caused interruptions of the wadi flow, consequently impacting spate irrigation and causing erosion and degradation of agricultural land.
Sediment has accumulated in canals and in fields, wastewater has polluted agricultural land, and there is no protection of traditional canals and agricultural land in spate irrigation areas. Due to a lack of skills and the level of poverty of inhabitants of the area, management of their land, canals and wadi flows is poor, and there is a lack of community participation to maintain these assets. Due to migration of young men to the cities and an increase in the costs of hiring labour, income earned from the agricultural production is not enough to motivate farmers to rehabilitate and maintain their lands.