Yemen: Grape growers troubled by war and foreign competition

Ali Jarallah owns a store in Yemen that sells grapes and raisins. However, the country has been gripped by war for over seven years. As if that didn't make trade hard enough, he and others in his industry are also facing steep competition from cheap imported grapes and raisins, particularly from China.

Jarallah lives in the city of Sanaa, which is under control of the Houthis, who are aligned with Iran. The Houthi administration recently tried to put restrictions on the imported raisins. Grapes make up roughly a third of the total area for fruit cultivation here, so foreign competition is noticeable.

Munir al-Mahbashi is the director of marketing at the Ministry of Agriculture, stated: "As for the local production, there are no accurate statistics, but every year it increases. We implement all mechanisms and procedures to market for the local product and try to gradually reduce the imported. Of course, we only allow the import of quantities that cover the demand."

All in all, what remains is a problematic situation of supply and demand, in a country that is still very much war-torn.

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