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UN: Syrian crops up, but higher foods prices still cause major strain

06.09.2019 13:11 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) Though improved security and rainfall within the Syrian farming areas have boosted the country harvests, higher domestic market foods prices mean that many citizens are still struggling to feed their families, UN Radio says referring to the Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) report (issued this week jointly by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP)). As to the report, the Syrian this year wheat crop is estimated to be 2.2million metric tonnes, up against the last year 1.2million (29-year low)- but it is still far below the pre-war average (2002–2011) of 4.1million tonnes. Besides, the experts also expect this year the country barley crop will hit 2million tons (up 5times against 2018and over 150% of the average barley crops produced prior to the outbreak of hostilities). However, within the past 12–14months, Syrian domestic market foods prices have been gradually rising as a result of boosted domestic fuel prices, and a continuous depreciation of the Syrian currency on the informal exchange market. «Despite the good rains, farmers within rural areas are still facing many challenges, including a lack of access to seeds and fertilizers, high transport costs, the presence of unexploded ordnance in some of their fields, and limited marketing opportunities,» Mike Robson, FAO Representative within Syria, has admitted, asserting that unless there is a better support for agricultural livelihoods, «the reliance on food assistance will remain». «After nine years of crisis, the people of Syria, including those returning to their villages, continue to face great challenges. Many struggle to feed and educate their children,» Corinne Fleischer, WFP Country Director within Syria, has emphasized.

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