Decline of Syria agriculture in light of crisis

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Kurdish lady checking olives in a farm near Syria's Kobane. File photo: YS

ARA News

Kobane, Syria – The agricultural sector in the Kurdish region of Kobane in the northern countryside of Aleppo has seen a “huge decline” amid the difficult conditions which the region is going through. Beside low amounts of rainfall, the siege imposed on the city of Kobane and its countryside by the Qaeda splinter group of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) for many months and which resembles a “state of war” negatively affected all the aspects of the life of its inhabitants, including the agricultural production of the region.

Speaking to ARA News, agronomist Lami’ Mohammed, said that the low amounts of rainfall this year affected the growing of plants, and that the amounts of rain which fell lately were of no sufficient benefit for the plants as they fell after the period in which plants need water to grow.

“Moreover, the lack and high prices of fertilizers and the high costs of fuel requirements constituted additional obstacles to the agricultural production of the region of Kobane and which forced many farmers to give up on agriculture as it doesn’t bring any financial benefits to them anymore,” Mohammed pointed out.

The local farmer Rammo Ali expressed his discontent about the current “bad” conditions of agriculture in Kobane, saying: “If it wasn’t for the social traditions which don’t favour selling one’s lands, I would sell my land and migrate to another country.”

According to Rammo, the high prices of fertilizers and pesticides, the high harvesting costs and the low prices of grain yields, farmers will apparently not make any financial gains to be mentioned this year.

According to locals, the biggest problem which the farmers in Kobane (officially called Ayn al-Arab) face this year is the unknown fate waiting their grain yields, as it is yet unclear who will buy them and for which prices.

 

Reporting by: Sadruddin Kino

Source: ARA News

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