Syrian farmers produced a record wheat crop in 2001, totaling 4.5 million tons, 11 percent of which is directed for export, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) reported. The remarkable 2001/2002 harvest, grown on 1.5 million hectares of land, was attributed to ample rainfall during the cultivating season.
The state-owned General Establishment for Cereal Processing and Trade (HOBOOB) had already contracted 3.5 million tons of wheat from local farmers, purchasing 84 percent more crop than in the previous season. The US report added a preliminary forecast for the 2002/2003 crop, at 4.0-4.5 million tons of wheat, providing ample rainfall conditions continue throughout the next season.
Self-sufficient in wheat production, Syria exports any surplus after keeping wheat stocks at a level exceeding one year's milling requirement for the whole country. Wheat is mainly used for milling into flour for local bread production, while smaller quantities are used for bulgur production and animal feeding. About 250,000 tons of wheat are used for planting the next crop.
The 2001/2002 barley crop is estimated at 1.3 million tons, produced from 1.4 million hectares. Over 60 percent of the yield has been bought by HOBOOB in 2001. Barley is mainly used to feed ruminant animals, including sheep and cattle.
The Syrian Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform estimated the local 2001/2002 corn crop at 150,000 tons, cultivated over 50,000 hectares of land. The General Organization for Fodder (GOF) purchased nearly 85 percent of this output. Corn is mostly used for poultry feed. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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