Farms, livestock pens
the crisis of imported onions, fruits and vegetables reveal not only what is going on behind the scenes in terms of a conflict between traders and importers, but also the illusion of what is called food security. there are more than 3,000 agricultural holdings distributed by the state to citizens either a billionaire, a debtor or a taxi driver, as long as he is loved by the government or wanted to buy loyalty, so it gave the citizen agricultural land ranging from 50 to 100 thousand s q u a r e meters, and even a million square meters to those who it (the government) loved, or those who granted the land to themselves when they were at the top of the decision-making process. according to what i have found out, dozens of these farms owned by families and ‘dear’ friends have nothing to do with the meaning of ‘food security’. some contain just a few ruins of stalls, a few houses accommodating workers, a few places where cloves are cultivated. other farms contain luxury buildings like palaces and fascinating landscape in the midst of a barren arid desert. there are, of course those who have no interest in anything other than agriculture and sell what they produce in the local market, but they are few. the management and support for these farms cost the state hundreds of millions of dinars a year, but their impact on the economy or the security of the country is almost zero. although the basic idea to distribute agricultural plots was to urge the citizens to grow fruits and vegetables, turn them into poultry farms which then was to be supplied to the local market. but the owners have reportedly sold their plots to others because the lease contract did not oblige or ask the owners to participate in the minimum limit of food security. thus, everyone who has criticized the owners of these farms for failing to suffice the needs of the country by producing easy-growing onions and other vegetables, are not right in their criticisms. the blame falls upon those who gave away these farms to owners free of charge, and those who transferred the ownership in exchange for millions of dinars and these plots of land have changed hands with the knowledge that it would not contribute to food security, therefore blame the government, not the owner. what applies to farms, which at least changed some of the awful landscape, applies to thousands of livestock pens, or stables that have been distributed to the same billionaires and taxi drivers. most of them are not used for the purpose for which it was given, but are barren areas used as chalets, restrooms and garages, and have nothing to do either with food security or fertilizers. i have always rejected the idea of possessing a farm, especially in wafra, where the rule of the day is chaos, construction activity and bad streets, the smell of humidity during day time and to add insult to injury swarms of flies are seen everywhere. my information about agriculture is close to zero, and i still find it difficult to distinguish between parsley and coriander. these agricultural and animal holdings actually require some attention from the government, it is not reasonable to keep the situation as it is in light of all this scarcity in irrigation water, and the high cost of imported vegetables and fruits, despite all the government’s huge financial support and the poor importation of vegetables and fruits whose quality cannot be compared to what is produced locally. we extend our sincere condolences to the al-humaidhi family on the demise of the great man and patriot, yacoub yousef al-humaidhi, who was unique in all ways.