Syria’s wheat and barley crops this year improved helped by favorable rainfall and better overall security but food security remains a challenge, a joint report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP) said on Thursday, Reuters reported.
The report added, “wheat production for the 2019 season was estimated at 2.2 million tonnes, up from the 29-year low of 1.2 million tonnes produced last year.”
“It is an improvement but a lot remains to be done … it is still 50% less than the pre-war figures,” Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, FAO assistant director general and regional representative for the Near East and North Africa, told Reuters.
The figure is far below a pre-crisis average of 4.1 million tonnes a year, the Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission report, conducted jointly by the FAO and WFP, found.
“This means that the country will still heavily rely on wheat imports,” he said.
The figures were based on the mission team’s visit to 10 of the country’s 14 governorates in June and July.
Wheat in Syria is used in the production of flat bread, a subsidized staple for a population that has suffered under a conflict estimated to have killed several hundred thousand people and forced millions to flee their homes since 2011.