|"What Would You do For a Kick-(the)-Khat Bar?"|
|Subject||Yemeni Farmers Cultivate a Stimulant, at the Expense of Other Crops and the Environment|
|Topic||Supply and Demand; Economics and the Environment|
Supply, Demand, Stimulant, Profits, Environmental Costs
Yemeni farmers have discovered a new cash crop: khat, a product that grows like tobacco and, when chewed, produces a stimulant known as cathinone. When chewed in sufficient quantities, cathinone affects people like an amphetamine. Farmers can typically earn 3 times more cultivating khat than they could earn in other occupations, making it one of the most profitable industries in Yemen.
The drug is the basis for social life in Yemen, as men gather together, chew the leaves, and engage in lively conversation throughout the afternoon and evening. Also, as farmers plant khat in terraces high in the mountains, they engage in environmentally appropriate erosion control policies by keeping the terraces in sound working condition.
Production of this crop is not without its costs, though, as production
of coffee, sorghum and other cultivable crops is falling in favor of production
of the far more profitable khat. Further, irrigation of khat fields depletes
underground aquifers at a rate of 10 to 20 acre-feet a day. Further, pregnant
women who chew khat are more likely to miscarry, and those of any age
or gender who chew khat become sick more often and tend to die younger
than non-khat users.
(Updated August, 2004)
|Source||Jim Landers. "Yemen Unlikely to Kick Khat Habit." 13 June 2004. The Dallas Morning News.|
Return to the Supply and Demand , Economics
and the Environmental Index
©1998-2004 South-Western. All Rights Reserved webmaster | DISCLAIMER