The output of the Syrian cotton industry is reportedly on the decline, recent reports in Al-Bayan stated. In 1998-1999, only 926,000 tons of cotton were produced, followed by 930,000 tons in the 1999-2000 agricultural season. This figure reflects a significant drop compared with the 1.47 million tons produced in 1996-1997.
According to a recent study by the Syrian-European Business Council, the decreased sales of spun cotton and the resulting mounting inventories in Syria can be attributed to three chief factors ― violations of international prices, be it cotton purchases from farmers or sales of spun cotton to public companies; discrepancies of product quality between local and foreign markets and inadequate marketing capabilities on the part of Syrian cotton dealers and growers.
Official statistics show that cotton crops are cultivated on 4.5 percent of the available arable farming lands in Syria. The cotton-farming sector employs 390,000 workers, equivalent to ten percent of the total labor force in Syria, and 30 percent of the labor force in the local agriculture sector.
Production costs per ton of cotton currently stand on 75.28 Syrian pounds ($1.67). Thus, the total Syrian cotton output is estimated to cost SP 27 billion annually. Average cotton productivity in Syria stands at 3.8 tons per hectare. ― (MENA Report)
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