Damascus and the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (Rojava) have entered the race to buy wheat grown in Syria’s part of the Jazeera. The two sides are looking to secure their share of grain harvests after hundreds of hectares of Syrian wheat fields failed to endure sharp decreases in seasonal rainfall.
Syria, which used to produce four million tons of wheat before 2010, is now facing a real food security catastrophe.
Experts and Administration leaders estimate that the current season’s production may reach a quarter of the usual amount, with the possibility that production at its best will reach one million tons. This means that crop production will drop by 70% in large parts of the region.
Administration authorities, which control most of the agricultural lands in the northeastern areas of Syria’s Hasaka province, are working to determine the purchase price of wheat within the rain-fed areas. They are racing time to secure their wheat needs to produce subsidized bread.
“We will provide the farmers with all facilities to deliver their crops, and we will support private projects for those wishing to establish cotton gins and fodder warehouses,” said Salman Barudo, the co-chair of the Economy and Agriculture Board of the Administration.
Meanwhile, President Bashar al-Assad ordered the Annual Grain Conference to raise the purchase price of wheat from farmers to SYP 1700 with a reward of SYP 300 per kg delivered from safe areas so that the price of one kilogram becomes SYP 2000, in addition, to the reward of SYP 400 per kg delivered from the unsafe areas.
Prime Minister Hussein Arnous stressed that receiving every grain of wheat is a priority in the government’s work because the wheat crop is linked to food security and the citizen’s livelihood.
It should be noted that Syria is divided between three conflicting local areas of influence, in which the regime’s regions need two million tons of wheat annually.