Coffee farmers: Restoring hope amidst crisis in Yemen

June 5, 2018

Mohammed Mansour Yahiya, a coffee farmer from the Burra District in the Hodeida Governorate checking coffee beans at his farm

Mohammed Mansour Yahiya, a coffee farmer in his thirties from Al-Dharif village, Burra District of Hodeida Governorate, did not lose hope despite facing unbearable hardships in such tough times. 

Mohammed used to receive a monthly salary from his job in addition to the money he makes from coffee plantation. However, Mohammed's financial situation worsened with the salary suspension due to the ongoing conflict.

"With the cessation of the monthly salary, I lost my main source of income and became unable to provide food for my children. It's painful to feel unable to provide a decent living for your family," said Mohammed. 

Amid this difficult situation, Mohammed was one of many coffee farmers in Burra who found hope with the Small and Micro Enterprise Promotion Service (SMEPS) intervention. The project aims to create business resilience and is funded by USAID and implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Social Fund for Development (SFD) to expand farmer's production through improving the value chain by using modern technologies and better farming methods.  

"I was doubtful and didn't believe such news. I thought that people were lying to me to relieve my suffering.”

A SMEPS team visited Mohammed's village and started collecting data about coffee farmers to assist them in constructing water tanks and provide them with fertilizers and technical guidance. 

"I finally breathed a sigh of relief and I cried with joy. The SMEPS support has given us a new life and hope."

The access roads to the village are rough and rugged. There is no safe road for cars to the village. SMEPS team members have to walk for a long distance and climb mountains to reach the farmers. They exerted a lot of efforts to make periodic visits to the area to help the farmers. 

"Now I pay special attention to the coffee trees in my farm. The coffee my farm products will be the best and will be sold in the market in the coming period," said Mohammed.

UNDP partners with the Social Fund for Development (SFD) and Public Works Project (PWP) to implement the USAID-funded Yemen Emergency Crisis Response Project (YECRP) designed to work on Improving delivery of basic services through enhancing access to clean drinking water and sanitation, providing livelihoods opportunities to women and youth in education, enhancing the capacity of community mid-wives and paramedics to provide quality health services, and expanding the production of local fishermen, coffee and crop farmers.  


  • USAID contributed with amount of US$ 15,200,000 under Yemen Emergency Crisis Response Project (YECRP)
  • US$ 3,653,355 has been disbursed as of September 2017
  • 350 (300 of them are women coffee farmers) farmers trained on the usage of modern farming techniques and improved practices to increase productivity