Alongside efforts from the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Yemen has been growing olive trees for decades with the intent of planting profitable trees that go well with the country’s weather and climate. The idea started at the end of the 1970s by importing some olive trees to study the suitability of the tree being grown in the country.
Several studies since 2003 have been conducted about growing olive trees in Yemen. The first study was about the suitability of the country in showing good results in olive production. The study showed good results in the process of growth and bearing fruits.
Another study was conducted on the types of olive trees that are suitable to the Yemeni environment. Five different kinds of olive trees were found, which are Nabali, Khudairi, Qaisi, Russa’i and Glot. According to Al-Bishari, Yemen already has the wild kind of olive trees growing native that belong to the family Olea europaea, from where today’s olive tree comes from.
The last study was about the feasibility of growing the plant and harvesting the olives. These studies were carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation in cooperation with experts from Jordan.
Since the 1970s, the ministry has planted nearly 800,000 seedlings in the capital Sana’a and the governorates of Sana’a, Mahweet, Dhamar, Sa’adah, Taiz and Al-Beidha’a.
According to Al-Bishari and General Manager of Agricultural Guidance Mansour Al-Aqel, all these trees have been planted in non-agricultural lands as part of the study, including in mountains and hills such as those in Northern Assiteen Street in Sana’a surrounding the Science and Technology University. According to Al-Bishari, olive trees are grown in non-agricultural lands around the world because the tree does not need much care.