Fruit farmers in Yemen’s Houthi-run areas are suffering the brunt of hiked oil prices and high maintenance rates. What is more is that the farmers are forced to sell their product with slim profit margins since power cuts and a limited number of available cool stores threaten spoiled crops.
Exacerbating the suffering of farmers, Houthis have continued to collect taxes in the name of supporting battlefronts and fighters.
Moreover, Yemeni farmers are complaining about the militias imposing compulsory donation campaigns for the fighters on the fronts, or as the militia media like to call them “Al-Murabitin.”
Houthi militias are known for holding a multitude of campaigns to collect funds under different slogans. Some of these campaigns are organized, while others are held randomly.
Last week, Houthis announced that farmers northeast of the capital Sanaa have agreed to send a fifth fruit convoy to fighters on frontlines in under a month.
Two weeks ago, Houthi militias announced that the people of the Saraf area had sent a grape convoy to fighters as well.
Last month, farmers near the capital were forced to give Houthis cargos of gifts, candy, nuts, and money.
Yemenis in the Bani Hashish district gave Houthis a cargo holding 15 million Yemeni rials, medicine and cattle.
As for the people of the city of Al Sharq and Maghrib Ans in Dhamar Governorate, south of Sanaa, the militias claimed that they had run two convoys of livestock, food, and medical supplies.
Besides forcing farmers to donate from each harvest, Houthis have set up a militia watchdog in agricultural areas.
Houthi supervisors closely monitor and follow up on planting operations until the moment of harvest production. When harvest is due, Houthi supervisors announce donation campaigns in which farmers are forced to provide quantities of their crops in support of the militia’s war effort.