CAIRO, April 6 Syria is expected to produce 2.17
million tonnes of local wheat in the 2017 season, Minister of
Agriculture Ahmad al-Qadiri was quoted as saying by state news
The figure suggests an increase of nearly one million tonnes
Syria's wheat harvest fell by almost half to 1.3 million
tonnes last year, its lowest in 27 years, as fighting and poor
rainfall further degraded the farming sector and the nation's
ability to feed itself.
Before the outbreak of its six-year-old civil war, Syria was
a wheat exporter producing four million tonnes in a good year
and able to export 1.5 million tonnes.
Qadiri said 1.169 million hectares were planted with wheat
The Damascus government subsidises bread for the areas it
controls and aid agencies offer supported prices in some areas,
but Syrians in other parts of the country suffer bread shortages
and high prices.
Of the 1.3 million tonnes produced in 2016, state grain
buyer Hoboob only managed to procure slightly over 400,000
That figure is far short of the one to 1.5 million tonnes
needed to provide bread to government-held areas.
Hoboob has been trying to strike import deals for Russian
wheat but none has yet arrived.
(Reporting by Maha El Dahan; editing by Jason Neely)