According to official Syrian statistics, local wheat yield potential is estimated to reach 4.8 million tons this agricultural season.
The United Nation’s FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) estimated the output of the recently harvested 2000-2001 wheat crop at 3.6 million tons, which is about 33 percent above 1999's well below-average crop and about average. FAO figures indicate that in 1999, the worst drought for decades dropped wheat production to 2.74 million tons, about 28 percent below average.
The below normal rainfall in the 2000-2001 season had little affect on irrigated wheat crop but has significantly affected the rain-fed crop, which constitutes 60 percent of Syria’s total wheat production, according to a report by USDA (United Stated Department of Agriculture) personnel in Damascus, based of recent field travel.
The Grain Market Report, published by the UK-based International Grains Council (IGC), rated Syria as the world’s 26th wheat producing nation. Other Middle Eastern nations listed as top world wheat producers are Turkey, ranked 10th with 17.5 million tones in 2000, Iran, ranked 16th, and Egypt on the 19th spot.
IGC recorded Syrian wheat output only at 2.8 million tons in 2000, up from 2.6 million in 1999, and sharply falling from 1998’s 4.1 million ton yield. The 1997 crop came to three million tons’ down from 1996’s 4.1 million.
According to reports in London’s Al-Hayat daily, the Crops Public Corporation is expected to purchase 3.2 million tons of this year’s wheat yield, compared with 1.7 million tons of wheat purchases by the company last year. — (MENA Report)
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