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Smallholder Agricultural Productivity Enhancement Program (SAPEP)

$36 million to strengthen community land and water management as well as enhance access to animal health services, higher value crops, and microenterprise.
Photo: Tomas Sennett


Since early 2011, Yemen has passed through a period of political uncertainty and economic disruption which has significantly worsened the already grave food security situation. It is estimated that 17 million (close to 60% of the population) are food insecure, making this the largest food security emergency in the world. In 2012, about half of the population did not have enough food, and 45% of households purchased food on credit. The vast majority of Yemenis – 6.4 million people – live in rural areas, with two thirds of all Yemen’s food insecure living in dry highland areas. The agriculture sector produces about 12.6% of GDP (2012), and is the main source of income for 73% of the population – either directly (33%) or indirectly through the services and industries that are connected to the agricultural economy. Most farms are extremely small and household farm incomes are typically very low. Over the last few decades, agricultural productivity has been stagnating and water availability is declining.


The Smallholder Agricultural Productivity Enhancement Program (SAPEP) aims to increase the adoption and use of productivity-enhancing crop and livestock practices by smallholders in targeted project areas. This will be carried out through community subprojects and investments that will protect land and water assets, thereby contributing to crop and livestock productivity. The Bank is being implemented in-country by FAO and the Yemen Social Development Fund. 

Subprojects and investments will be undertaken in: Community land and water management such as terraces, the construction of water-harvesting structures, and small-scale irrigation subprojects; Livestock production improvements such as expansion of the availability and reach of community animal health workers, improved livestock feeding, and support to community-based activities such as beekeeping; Community-based research and extension to introduce or expand improved rainfed staples, higher nutrition content, and higher value crops, which would involve supporting village seed banks, demonstration plots, and production of agricultural inputs such as locally adapted seeds for higher-productivity cereals cultivation; Value addition to support community cooperatives and associations engaged in business development, horticulture marketing, selling improved livestock products, and other activities that improve the value of agricultural products.

Project Status



Republic of Yemen



Focus area

  • Fragility

Supervising entity

World Bank


Rufiz Vakhid Chirag-Zade
Senior Agribusiness Specialist & Task Team Leader

Work with Us

Launched in 2010, the Global Agriculture & Food Security Program (GAFSP) represents a transformative approach to development aid that pools donor funds to make lasting improvements by supporting technically sound, country-led plans and sustainable, inclusive small- and medium-sized enterprises. The inaugural donors—Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Canada, the Republic of Korea, Spain, and the United States—were soon joined by Australia, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. GAFSP’s donors work in partnership with recipients, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders to improve the lives of smallholder farmers and their families. Millions of poor and vulnerable people around the world will directly benefit from GAFSP’s continued commitment and support. GAFSP looks to engage other donors and stakeholders in this important initiative.

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