Aden (Yemen), Mar 24 (IANS): Yemen's internationally-recognised government has banned the export of vegetables and fruit in an effort to ease soaring prices during the holy month of Ramzan.
According to an official decree issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in the southern port city of Aden on Thursday, the government officially halted fruit and vegetable exports during the month of Ramzan, Xinhua news agency reported.
The Ministry did not give more details but an official confirmed to Xinhua that as a measure to alleviate the financial strain during the holy month, the government has implemented a ban on the export of agricultural commodities.
He clarified that the purpose of this ban is to ensure an adequate supply of these essential products in the domestic market, reducing the prices for consumers to a more reasonable level.
Aden, the government's temporary capital, and other neighbouring southern provinces have seen sharp price increases for vegetables, fruit, meat and other goods during the past years.
Residents confirmed to Xinhua that the prices of several essential commodities such as vegetables, fruit, and meat have witnessed a significant surge, eroding the purchasing power of local consumers, and making it increasingly difficult for them to afford these basic necessities.
This has further exacerbated the already dire economic situation in Yemen, where millions of people struggling with a severe economic crisis and currency collapse due to the more than eight-year civil war.
Yemen's agricultural and livestock products, along with fish, are highly sought-after exports to neighbouring Gulf countries, particularly Saudi Arabia. However, the supplies have been dwindling in local Yemeni markets.
Yemen has been mired in deadly military conflict since late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi group seized control of several northern provinces and forced the internationally-recognised government out of the capital Sanaa.
The conflict brought the Arab world's poorest country to the brink of collapse, causing famine, skyrocketing prices and widespread suffering as well as disrupting the country's food supply chain, leaving millions of people without access to adequate nutrition.