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Economy, agriculture and food security
In 2007, the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Yemen was US$22.5 billion. The total economically active population was 6.8 million (32.5 percent of the total population), of which 71.5 percent male and 28.5 percent female.
The agriculture sector plays an important role in the economy of the country. Although its contribution to GDP is only about 10 percent (2000), the sector employs more than 45 percent of the total economically active population (50.4 percent in 2000) and provides livelihood to more than two-thirds of the population. The discrepancy between the contribution of agriculture to GDP and the percentage of those employed in this sector reflects seasonal employment, underemployment and the low productivity of workers and factors of production, thus resulting in low incomes and poor standards of living for workers in agriculture. Women are involved in nearly all agricultural activities, providing 44 percent of the population economically active in this sector, but cultural traditions keep them at a lower status and prevent them from gaining control over important household resources.
According to the Agriculture Census, the total cereal area showed a negative trend between 1998 and 2004, with total cereal production decreasing by 0.6 percent per year. The average domestic cereal production in 2000ľ2004 covered only 21 percent of the domestic demand, estimated at 2.73 million tons. The cost of imported cereal has increased from US$195.2 million in 2000 to US$315 million in 2004. When aggregating main food imports, cereals (2.3 million tons), sugar (468 000 tons), vegetables and fruit (77 000 tons), livestock and milk products (164 000 tons), the food import bill reaches US$744 million. Food exports total around US$236 million and are dominated by fish products with 76 percent of food export value (US$181 million), coffee (US$14.4 million), banana (US$8 million), onion (US$7.6 million) and other fruits (US$4.3 million).