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Baseline Socio-Economic Survey For Protected Agriculture Project in Taez Selected Pilot Growers for the Phase One

Khalil M. Alsharjabi, PhD


Socio-economist

Table of Contents 1. Introduction: 2.Objectives: 3.Methodology: 4.Results and Discussion: 4.1. Personal and Socio-economic Characteristics: 4.2. Farmers Involvement in Agricultural Services and Development Activities: 4.3. Experiences relating to vegetables Growing, production and marketing: 5.Difficulties and Problems: 6. Conclusion:

1. Introduction:
It has become well known that any development intervention would have better chance to measure its outcome, if it first conducts a small socio-economic survey early at the take off stage in targeted area particularly among those people expected to benefit from its program and activities. With this background in mind, the French-assisted Taiz Protected farming project in Yemen planned and implemented this socio-economic survey among selected farmers so as to have adequate baseline information about various features characterizing its beneficiaries. This would be the base for measuring its direct short and medium-term as well as long-term impact as compared to its per-planned target outcome. 2. Objectives: This socio-economic survey was guided with following objectives:

To describe personal and socio-economic characteristics of the selected projects' beneficiaries/cooperating farmers To find out involvement of cooperating farmers in agricultural development activities To identify the experiences of cooperating farmers relating to vegetables growing, production and marketing. To identify the extent to which cooperating farmers are familiar with the concept of protected-farming To explore various problems and difficulties encountering cooperating farmers with regard to their farming

activities.

To assess perception of cooperating farmers concerning possible solutions to problems being faced by them in their farming, production and marketing activities.

3. Methodology: An interview schedule was developed containing different items for which information is required from farmerrespondent. It was further reviewed and discussed with project Field Team (FT), composed of research and Extension Specialists, in an orientation-training course conducted in Taiz Agricultural Research Station, Ausaifrah. From among FT members, three specialists have been selected to collect data from farmer-respondents. The interview schedule was tested and further fine-tuned prior to actual field data collection from survey sample. Survey sample included project selected cooperating farmer-beneficiaries that have been already selected on bases of certain criteria such as the altitude of their areas, nearness of their lands from main road, willingness to cooperate with project with regard to volunteer a piece of land to install a plastic green-house, and readiness to shoulder some cost of green house construction and operation and the like. Accordingly, all 18 farmers selected by the project in its first year have been included in survey sample. Survey sample can be summarized as depicted in table no. (1).
Table no. (1) Summary of Survey sample Srl. No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Total Districts Al-Misrakh Al-Ma'afer Khadir Saber Al-Mawadem AL-Shamaiatain Al-Mawaset No. of farmers 2 6 3 3 3 1 18 % 11,1 33,3 16,7 16,7 16,7 5,5 100

4. Results and Discussion: 4.1. Personal and Socio-economic Characteristics: Survey results indicate that majority of respondents (55,5% and 61,1%) were middle-aged and with medium family size respectively (Table no. 2).
Table no. (2) Distribution of respondents According to age and family size Srl. No. Characteristics Age: 1 Young (less than 30 years) 2 Average (31-50 years) 3 Old (50 years and above) Total Family size: 4 Small (6 and below) Medium (7-11) 5 Large (12 and above) Total No. of farmers 4 10 4 18 3 11 4 18 % 22,2 55,6 22,2 100 16,7 61,1 22,2 100 Average

42,2 years

10 members

In terms of education, results presented in table no. (3) state that one-third of respondents have the ability to "read and write", while about one-quarter are holders of university degrees. Rest of the respondents have fallen within

other categories as either holders of secondary school certificate (16,7%), basic education certificate (11,1%), or illiterates (16,7%).
Table no. (3) Distribution of respondents According to level of education Srl. No. 1 2 3 4 5 Total Level of education Read and write Holders of university degree holders or equivalent Holders of secondary education certificate Illiterates Holders of basic education certificate No. of farmers 6 4 3 3 2 18 % 33,3 22,2 16,7 16,7 11,1 100

Survey results indicate that respondents also varied with regard to characteristics of their land holdings. About half of them (44,4%) are owners of average farms (0,6-1,5 hectare), and one-third (33,3%) them are owners of large farms (more than 1.6 hectares). With regards to irrigation, survey results state that most respondents (94,4%) own irrigated holdings, while 61,1% of respondents confirmed their ownership of rain-fed holdings. However, as shown in table no. (4) it was found that majority (72,2%) of respondents do share with some others ownership of farm holdings with the exception of about one-third of them (38,9%) who reported full ownership of farm holdings under their possession. More than half (55,6%) of the respondents have also admitted another type of land holdings based on which they cultivate some land with a certain sharecropping arrangements with land owners. Survey findings revealed that all farmer-respondents own cows (with a minimum of one head and maximum of 12 heads) and some of them own varying number of cheap and goat. At least one-third of the respondents also practice poultry raising with one farmer possessing a donkey. With regard to source of animal feed, half of them depend on their farm while similar percentage secure additional feed requirements for their animals from local markets with only one respondent relies totally on feed purchase from the market (table no. 5).

Table no. (4) Distribution of respondents According to land holdings characteristics Characteristics of hand holdings Size of land holdings: - Small (0,5 and below) - Medium (0.6 1,5 ha) - Large (1,6 and above) Irrigation source of holdings: - Own irrigated land - Own rain-fed land Land tenure: - Full Owners of holdings - Partial Owners of holdings - Sharecroppers No. of farmers* 4 8 6 17 11 7 13 10 % 22,2 44,4 33,3 94,4 61,1 38,9 72,2 55,6

* Some farmers gave more than one response.


Table no. (5) Distribution of respondents according to their ownership of animals and sources of animal feed. Animals Owned/Source of feed Animals: - Cow - Cheap No. of farmers* 18 8 % 100 44,4

- Poultry - Goat - Donkey Sources of animal feeds - Own farm - Own farm &market only - Market - No answer

7 4 1 8 7 1 2

38,9 22,2 5,5 44,4 38,9 5,5 11.1

Results showed also that there exists a variation among respondents in terms of ownership of home appliances and equipments. Most of them (83,3%) own radio, while majority of them (77,8%) own TV sets, about one-third of them (33,3%) own telephone lines and more than a quarter own satellite receivers. Similarly, in terms of farm related equipments and machineries, the survey results showed that majority (94,4%), (77,8%) and (66,7%) own pesticides sprayers, water pumps and vehicles. While only 11,1% of respondents only own tractors. Some other equipment only owned by lesser number of respondents (table 6).
Table no. (6). Distribution of respondents on bases of their ownership of house and farm appliances, equipment and machines. Appliances/Equipments/machines Home appliances/equipments Radio TV sets Sewing machines Mobile phone Satellite receiver Telephone line Video camera Video Sweeping machine Refrigerator Farm machines/equipments Pesticides Sprayer Water Pump Vehicle Tractor Other equipment/machines Grain mill Power Generator No. of farmers* 15 14 7 6 5 4 2 1 1 1 17 14 12 2 1 1 % 83,3 77,8 38,9 33,3 27,8 22,2 11,1 5,6 5,6 5,6 94,4 77,8 66,7 11,1 5,6 5,6

Most respondents gave more than one answer. Respondents varied sharply with regard to their use of different sources of farm information. Results shown in table (7) indicate that respondents though using quite large number of information sources, they use some of these sources more frequently as compared to others. For example, most respondents use personal farm information sources such as extension Agents, neighbors and other farmers, relatives and friends and farm supply dealers. From among media sources, results show that more respondents, with only one respondent using newspaper, use radio and TV. Limited number of respondents area also using farm fairs, internet and institutional sources to obtain their information needs (table no. 7). Survey results shown in table no. (8) Reveal that about one-fourth of the respondents are members of some associations/societies. This might be due to either the absence of such associations in the area to which respondents belong, or the low tendency of the sample to participate in activities of such organizations whenever

exist. It is apparent from survey results that all respondent are involved in farm activities to generate a certain income fro their living. However, results demonstrate that respondents do not rely much on farm income and secure additional income from livestock rearing and other sources as explained in table no. (9). Results shown in table no. (9) indicate that about one-third of respondents secure less than 50% of their income from farming. The range of farmgenerated income fluctuates between 17-100% for each single household.
Table no. (7) Distribution of respondents on bases of their use of different farm information sources. Information sources Radio TV Newspapers Extension Workers Neighbors/other farmers Relatives and friends Farm fairs Farm supply dealers Other sources: - Internet - agencies Often No. 1 1 0 3 2 3 0 4 1 0 % 5,5 5,5 0 16,7 11,1 16,7 0 22,2 5,5 0 Sometimes No. % 3 16,7 2 11,1 0 0 9 50 6 33,3 7 38,9 0 0 6 33,3 0 0 0 0 Rarely No. 7 5 1 4 5 3 2 5 0 1 % 38,9 27,8 5,5 22,2 27,8 16,7 11,1 27,8 0 5,5 No. 7 10 17 2 5 5 16 3 17 17 Never % 38,9 55,5 94,4 11,1 27,8 27,8 88,9 16,7 94,4 94,4

Table no. (8) Distribution of respondents according to their Membership in associations Memberships - Yes - No Total No. of farmers* 4 14 18 % 22,2 77,8 100

Income generated through livestock rearing ranged between 1-30% with a little more than one-half of the respondents (55,5%) obtaining 10% and lower of their income secured from this source. Sources other than farm and livestock income, constitute a large portion (41-80%) for more than one-third of the respondents. These sources of additional income were found also to vary from "selling underground water directly from wells, or by trucks", "government employment/salary" or "practicing some business such as car repair shop" and the like.
Table no. (9). Distribution of respondents on bases of characteristics of their source (s) of living. Item (s) Sources of Income: Farm income Other sources of income Livestock income % of farm income: 50% and above 51-80% 81-100% % of livestock income: 10% and below 11-20% 21-30% % of income, Other sources 25% and below 26-40% No. of farmers* 18 14 13 6 7 5 10 2 1 5 2 % 100 77,7 77,2 33,3 38,9 27,8 55,5 11,1 5,6 27,8 11,1

41-80% sources of income Other than farming: Selling water (Pump and truck) Job Salary/ Gov. employment Business/profession Renting land/garage Credit

7 6 5 4 2 1

38,9 33,3 27,8 28,6 11,1 5,5

4.2. Farmers Involvement in Agricultural Services and Development Activities: Survey results indicate that majority of respondents (72 and 61%) have neither attended extension activities such as meetings and field days, nor contributed their land to set up extension demonstration or trials respectively. However, more than half of them confirmed their adoption of some recommended new farm practices/technologies as shown in table no. (10).
Table no. (10) Distribution of respondents on bases of their involvement in agricultural development activities. Involvement Attended farm extension meetings/field days Contributed land for setting up demonstrations/trials Adopted recommendations of new farm practices/technologies** Yes No. 7 5 10 % 39 28 56 No. 11 13 8 No % 61 72 44

** Such as these technologies shown in table no. (11 ). About half of the respondents (48,4%) reported to have adopted some modern technologies/recommended practices such as optimal use of farm chemicals (pesticides and fertilizers). Survey results shown in table no (11) confirm that fewer percentages of the sample admitted their adoption of some other similar new recommended farm technologies and agro-techniques (new crops and crops improved varieties).
Table no. (11) Frequency of modern farm technologies reported by farmers to have been adopted/tried. Technologies Optimal application methods and kind of fertilizer and pesticides Planting new crops and crops varieties Sound irrigation methods Varied agro-techniques Frequency* 15 8 2 6 % 83.3% 44.4% 11.1 33.3

* Some farmers gave multiple responses With regards to farmers benefiting from farm credit services, results shown in table no. (12), indicate that only five farmers have obtained credits from a single credit bank i.e. the Agricultural and Cooperative Credit Bank (ACCB). Farmers have used the loans they obtained for different proposes as shown in the same table. 4.3. Experiences relating to vegetables Growing, production and marketing: Top In view of the importance of farming experience especially vegetable farming in adopting new farm technologies, the survey has tackled this issue through collecting information relating to this variable. Results obtained from respondents state that majority of respondents (82.3%) have been involved in general farming for more than 10 years with about a little above one-fourth of them (27.8%) having farming experience for more than 30 years (Table no. 13). However, as the data in the same table indicate, respondents experience in vegetable farming is much less than that of general farming. Results in this show that majority of respondents (82.3%) reported vegetable farming experiences below 15 years with only two respondents reported higher experiences in farming some vegetable crops.

Table no. (12): Respondents utilization of credit services, source and purpose for which they spent loans. Credit Use, Source and Loan Purposes 1. Use of Credit - Yes - No 2. Source of Credit - ACCB 3. Purpose of loans* - Potato growing - Purchase of farm equipment (Pump, Tractor) - Land reclamation and maintenance - Establishing poultry farm Frequency* 5 13 5 3 2 1 1 % 27.7 72.3 100 60 40 20 20

* Some of the farmers who obtained loans either more than one time or used single loan for different purposes.

This indicates the extent to which vegetables farming is relatively recent endeavor for considerable number of respondents/ projects cooperating farmers making the task challenging for its research extension field team members. General farming experience of respondents ranged between 8 50 years, while for vegetable crops farming experience ranged between 1 45 years with only one respondent at each extreme. Some of the respondents admitted to have started practicing agricultural work since their return home from Gulf States after 1990, following the outbreak of last Gulf crisis/war. In connection to protected-farming, survey results shown in table no. (14) indicate that majority of respondents (83.3%) have learnt about it with only three of them (16.7%) that never heard of it. This result seems to be reasonable and logical in view of the successful trials of the joint AREA-ICARDA program in selected Yemeni Governorates of producing more crops with minimal quantity of water in Yemeni terraced areas just accomplished within the past few years. At this juncture, it should be stated that results achieved by this program have been a subject of wide media coverage especially after the GFAR prize granted for this peace of farm research work. Experimental work of this research was partially conducted in Taiz area. Additionally, this result may be attributed to the presence of relevant extension and private sector work concerning protected farming which naturally allows information dissemination of some farm technologies much earlier than their adoption and wider adoption and actual application at field level.
Table no. (13): Distribution of respondents according to their general farming and vegetable farming experience. Farming experience 1. General farming experience - Below 10 years - 11 20 years - 21 30 years - 31 years and above 2. Vegetables farming experience - Below 5 years - 6 10 years - 11 15 years - 16 years and above Frequency* 3 8 2 5 6 5 4 3 % 16.7 44.4 11.1 27.8 33.3 27.8 22.2 16.7

Table no. (14): Distribution of respondents on bases of their Familiarity with Protected-farming.

Familiarity with protected-farming - learned about protected-farming - Never heard of protected-farming Total

Frequency* 15 3 18

% 83.3 16.7 100

Results in table no. (15) present various crops grown by the survey sample. It is clear from table data that large majority of farmers (88.9%) grow sorghum, maize and tomatoes. Other crops, mostly vegetables, are only grown by lesser number of farmers. However, there are other crops grown by farmers but not mentioned as they consider them secondary crops that are mostly grown either as intercropping (such as legumes) with some main crops or only grown at fields boarders as wind breakers/ fences such as Coffee and Guava.
Table no. (15): Various crops grown by respondents Crops grown Maize (Summer) Maize (winter) Sorghum Mango Tomato Potato Onion Qat Cucumber Zucchini Cabbage Eggplant Chili Pepper Okra Frequency* 16 15 6 6 16 4 2 1 7 8 2 2 2 2 1 % 88.9 83.3 33.3 33.3 88.9 22.2 11.1 5.5 38.9 44.4 11.1 11.1 11.1 11.1 5.5

Survey results also indicate that most respondents practice the technique of crops rotation though with different crop arrangement or sequence. The main crop rotation sequence being followed by large number of respondents is that of (Maize Vegetables Maize). The vegetable crops grown varied from one farmer to another (table no. 16). But, vegetable crop may vary from one season to another or from one field to another. In addition, findings revealed that most farmers divide their land/fields into pieces planted with a certain crop during a season but altered by another crop in the next season. While some farmers also leave land unplanted after growing some crops every other season.
Table no. (16): Crop rotations followed by respondents Crops rotation (s) Maize vegetables* Maize Frequency* 18 % 100

* vegetable crops stated by respondents include: Tomato, Potato, Onion, Zucchini, Cucumber, Cabbage, eggplant and pepper.

With regards to sources of water irrigation, respondents reported to have been using different sources of irrigation with great majority (94.4%) admitted a multiple irrigation sources such as underground water, rainfall and springs. While only few respondents reported to have been using of single source(s) of irrigation water (rainfall and springs) (table no. 16). However, not all respondents using underground water for irrigation purposes are owners of wells and water pumps. It seems that some of them do buy water from wells owners or enter into sharecropping arrangements against the right to use underground water irrigation from nearby wells owner.
Table no. (16): Respondents Access and use of water irrigation sources

Crops rotation (s) - Accessibility to sources of irrigation water: - Tube wells - Springs - Rainfall Total - Used Sources of Irrigation Water: - Tube wells, rainfall and springs - Rainfall Total

Frequency 14 3 1 18 17 1 18

% 77.8 16.7 5.5 100 94.4 5.5 99.9

Survey questionnaire has given proper attention to the issue of water quantities used for irrigating different crops grown by respondents. It attempted to identify number of irrigations provided for each crop during the season and the duration of a single irrigation. Results shown in table no. (17) indicate average, maximum and minimum number of irrigations given to different crops grown in a field of 50 local Kassabah (about 0.1 ha). It is clear from the findings that more number of irrigations is given to vegetable crops as compared to Maize. Similarly, it could be noted that different vegetable crops are given different number of irrigations with the maximum number of irrigations scored by tomato crop (40 times).
Table no. (17): Crops and number, minimum and maximum of irrigations Crop (s) Summer Maize Winter Maize Tomato Onion Potato Mango Zucchini Cucumber Okra Eggplant Cabbage Chili Pepper Average no. of irrigations 5 9 24 13 10 13 13 13 16 15 14 17 15 Minimum no. of irrigations 2 3 16 19 9 3 7 9 16 12 14 15 15 Maximum no. of irrigations 16 16 40 16 13 20 20 20 16 18 14 18 15

Table no. (18): distribution of respondents according to duration of each irrigation given to their crops. Category (hours) 4 hours and below 5 8 hours 9 hours and above Total Frequency (14) 7 5 2 14 % 50 35.7 14.3 100

Farmer-respondents have also admitted that reported number of irrigations would increase in seasons of little or no rainfall. It was observed that there exist multiple modes in the average number of irrigations provided to Summer Maize (2 and 3 at rate of 4 times and 7 at rate of 2 times), Winter Maize (2 and 7 at rate of 3 times) and tomato (20 at rate 4 times, 40 at rate of 3 times and 16 at rate of 3 times). While table no. (18) presents survey data obtained from respondents (only well owners) with regard to duration (hours) per irrigation. Results state that about half of the respondents (50%) give their crops irrigations of four hours and below. For about one-third of them (35.7%), irrigations time length ranged between 5 8 hours. Average irrigation duration observed was 4.5 hours. The minimum number or irrigations scored was 2 while the maximum number of irrigations reached 12 hours. The purpose of producing some crops was one of the issues investigated in this survey. Results on this aspect are shown in table no. (19). Some of the purposes of production are common among farmers and applicable to several

crops. Production purposes are limited for cereal crops such as Maize, and wider for vegetable crops such as tomato. Findings of the study reveal that the respondents are familiar with crops marketing as about one-fourth (22.2%) to more than two-thirds (77.8%) of them admitted to have marketed most of their vegetable crops. It was also found that percentage of the produce of some crops, especially vegetable crops, allotted for home consumption ranged mainly between as low as less than 1% and 5%. Only one respondent reported to have allocated higher percentage (20%) of his cucumber produce for home consumption. Respondents have stated other purposes for crop production such as free distribution for their relatives and gifts especially with reference to some vegetable crops. Results of the survey indicate that a considerable number of respondents do sale/market a percentage of their produce. Only one respondent confirmed that he does not sell/market his product, apparently due to his small land holding or lack of surplus of crop produce enough for marketing/sale. Findings of the survey also indicate that a little more than one-third of respondents (38.9%) do market their produce individually, while remaining sample members (more than half 55.6%) do the marketing collectively in-group (table no. 20). As shown in table no. (20), although results confirm the existing collaborative group marketing, but reveal the total absence of organizational marketing through cooperatives or societies. This could be either due to lack of such organizations in areas of selected farmers or their ineffectiveness, if ever in existence. However, the tendency of respondents towards group marketing could be attributed to their interest in lowering marketing cost especially transport and/or to lessons learnt from previous experience regarding weaknesses of individual as compared to collective marketing. In particular, this could hold true if respondents have ever observed advantages of collective negotiation and material benefits that could be accrued to them through collective marketing of produce. Further deeper investigation into this issue gained some additional information and possibly understanding of this issue. Findings in this connection, as presented in table no. (21), reveal that respondents vary in term of their marketing behavior or practices possibly based to crop, quantity of produce, accessibility to alternative marketing methods/outlets and the like.
Table no. (19): Distribution of respondents on bases of the purpose of their Crop production*. Crop (s) Maize Tomato Potato Zucchini Cucumber Home consumption No. 8 15 3 6 7 Purpose (s) Sale/Market No. % 2 11.1 14 77.8 4 22.2 7 38.9 7 38.9 Other (s) No. 0 1 2 0 0 % 0 5.5 11.1 0 0

% 44.4 83.3 16.7 33.3 38.9

* Some respondents gave more than one answer.


Table no. (20): Distribution of respondents according to the nature of marketing crops produce (Individual, group and associations) Marketing approach Individual/personal marketing Group/collective marketing Organizational/Association Marketing Not marketing at all Total Frequency 7 10 0 1 18 % 38.9 55.6 0 5.5 100

Some of the respondents have apparently either sold their crop produce directly to consumers in surrounding areas within vicinity of the farms and/or to middlemen right at the farm or farm gate. However, fewer respondents ranging between 5.5-44.4% have reported wider marketing options and methods as showed in table no. (21). On bases of respondents answer to questions concerning pests and diseases attacking their crops, data in table no. (22) show that majority of respondents (77.8%) confirmed mainly existence of pests and diseases invading tomato crops. Pests attacking other crops have been reported only by lower than 50% of survey sample.
Table no. (21): Distribution of respondents on bases of marketing methods used to sell their Crop produce. Marketing method(s) On farm: - retail - Wholesale Nearby local market: - retail/by self - retail/ broker - wholesale/by self - wholesale/broker Taiz Wholesale Market - retail/by self - wholesale/by self - wholesale/broker - Wholesale/wholesale merchants Cereals No. 2 1 2 1 1 Crops category (ies) Fruits No. % 1 4 1 1 2 1 2 5.5 22.2 5.5 5.5 11.1 5.5 11.1 Vegetables No. % 1 1 1 3 1 1 5 8 2 5.5 5.5 5.5 16.7 5.5 5.5 27.8 44.4 11.1

% 11.1 5.5 11.1 5.5 5.5 -

Table no. (22): Frequency of vegetable crops attacked by pests as stated by respondents Vegetable crops attacked by pests Tomato Zucchini Cucumber Potato Eggplant Chili Pepper Frequency 14 8 7 4 2 2 2 % 77.8 44.4 38.9 22.2 11.1 11.1 11.1

Further, respondents have identified a number of insects and diseases that are frequently attacking some crops as shown in table no. (23). Most of these pests stated by few respondents as compared to some others. However, it should be noted here that some respondents were able only to describe symptoms of pest or locally common names. With regard to crop storing facilities, majority of respondents (72.2%) confirm their ownership of some crops storage facilities with the exception of about one-fourth of respondents (27.8%) who denied having any such facilities (table no. 24). Further enquiry on this matter revealed that respondents mainly possess in their houses premises some of the common locally storing facilities of cereals such as galvanized iron barrels and traditional cereal warren/den. Only one respondent reported having large boxes being used as fodder storage. 5. Difficulties and Problems:

When respondents were asked to mention their views of the main problems encountering agriculture, they have stated a large number of difficulties and problem. These are summarized in table no. (25). It is clear from results shown in table that water is the major hindrance to farming as expressed by majority of respondents (72.2%),

followed by the escalating price hike of farm supplies, labor wages and irrigation water as reported by more than half (55.5%) of the sample.
Table no. (23): Frequency of insects and diseases attacking vegetable crops attacked as reported by respondents Crops / Pests Tomato Pests: - Fruit worm - Blight - Fruit fly (white, red and green) - Spiders/Mites - Curl/Exoascales Zucchini Pests: - Vine mildew - Curl/Exoascales - Blight Cucumber - Vine mildew - Downy Mildew - Blight - Spiders/Mites Frequency (18) 13 6 7 8 4 3 8 8 2 1 6 3 2 1 1 % 72.2 33.3 38.8 44.4 22.2 16.6 44.4 44.4 11.1 5.5 33.3 16.6 11.1 5.5 5.5

Table no. (24): Distribution of respondents according to storage facilities they possess. Storage facilities owned Yes No Total Frequency 13 5 18 % 72.2 27.7 100

Other problems and difficulties though mentioned by smaller number of respondents (44.4% and below), are also of importance and pose real threat to agricultural production as a source of livelihood for more than 70% of Yemeni population. Therefore, these problems require proper attention from those concerned with agricultural development in the country. Respondents have been also requested to more specifically state the problems that they are encountering in relation to vegetable crops growing. Results shown in table no. (27) indicate that price fluctuations, greater supply of crop produce and the high price of farm supplies are the main obstacles threatening vegetables growing as stated by 83.3, 55.5 and 38.9% respectively. Other problems such as water scarcity and pests among others, were also mentioned but by fewer respondents (table no. 27).
Table no. (25): Frequency of problems/difficulties as mentioned by respondents Crops / Pests Scarcity of water High cost/prices (farm supplies, water unit, and labor) Shortage of information, instructions and advices. Pests outbreak (insects and diseases) Limited capital Lowering prices of agricultural crop products/commodities Marketing difficulties (lack of storage facilities) Lack of incentives encouraging farm production (support services such as easy lowinterest loan, dams, extension service, high quality seeds etc.) Unfavorable difficult natural conditions resulting from climatic change (such as occasional flood, cold weather and frost, and similar environmental variables) Difficulties and complex procedures of farm credit service Frequency (N= 18) 13 10 8 8 5 5 4 4 4 1 % 72.2 55.5 44.4 44.4 27.7 27.7 22.2 22.2 22.2 5.5

Some soil relating problems! Poor commercial seeds Unavailability of skilled laborers Decline and disappearance of local traditional farming knowledge (such as stars calendar).

1 1 1 1

5.5 5.5 5.5 5.5

Table no. (27): Frequency of problems/difficulties threatening vegetables growing as mentioned by respondents Crops / Pests Fluctuating/unstable prices of vegetable crops High supply of vegetable crop produce in the absence of storing facilities and specializing associations results in lowering prices High prices of farm inputs/supplies Pests (insects and diseases) outbreak (especially viral diseases) Scarcity of water Lack of knowledge of pesticides Limited farm information Lack of transport facilities Poor commercial seeds Frequency (N= 18) 15 10 8 4 3 1 1 1 1 % 83.3 55.5 44.4 22.2 16.6 5.5 5.5 5.5 5.5

6. Conclusion: Experience of cooperating farmers with vegetables growing is still at early stage. The number of those producing for market is also limited to fewer farmers. Although more than half of farmers are already aware of modern practices including protected farming, none of them have ever had a chance, for example, to closely observe a green house. None at all have ever adopted or practiced this technology. Selected cooperating farmers are encountering some problems endangering their farming activities such as water shortage, pests attack and the like. It is expected that introducing protected farming with adequate supervisory and advisory service to those farmers would enhance water use efficiency, reduce harvest loss due to pests attacks and hence would accrue to farmer more income and ultimately improve their living standards.