Syrian state farms to be given to workers
Syria's ruling Baath party has given the green light to handing state agricultural land to the farmers working it, the official press reported.
"The regional command of the Baath party approved the request of the farmers' section (of the party) to share out land tended by state farms," according to the Tishrin daily.
Each farming family will receive three hectares (7.5 acres) of irrigated land, or eight hectares (20 acres) of land depending on rainfall, the paper said.
Economists consider that the distribution is aimed at improving output from the land and relieving the government of the burden of running the farms.
State farms account for 117,611 hectares (290,573 acres) in the province of Hassake, with output of 33,172 tons, mainly cereals, according to official figures for 1999.
The land area of these farms represents two percent of the country's cultivated land area. Agriculture accounts for around a quarter of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), or some $17 billion in 1999.
The land to be distributed has always belonged to the state, while the land confiscated from major farm owners following reforms in 1958 was given directly to workers. — (AFP, Riyadh)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)