Syria – livestock and crop losses mount in Qamishli drought.
Location: Qamishli – Syria
Source: A24 in Syria
Restrictions: A24 subscribers
Syria’s Eastern and northern regions have suffered the devastating effects of the worst drought the region has experienced in years.
Many farmers have been struggling to find water and fodder for their livestock and the lack of grass has also left some unable to make enough silage to see them through the winter.
Farmers from the countryside of Qamishli told A24 News Agency’s reporter that the region has seen losses for cattle and crops, which are very expensive and sold in US dollar.
Women collecting hay for feeding livestock, the main source of their income, said this situation puts their livelihoods at risk.
For his part, Co-chair of the Agriculture and Economy Authority in the Autonomous Administration Mathloum Hassan urged farmers to use water wisely and to obtain licenses for water well construction.
-Soundbite (Ibrahim Zghair – Farmer):
“We are harvesting and the harvest is enough this year but I hope we obtain seeds for harvest the next year. We buy the seeds from sellers in the market, so we have to harvest them. Seeds from the harvest are for next year, yield is not a hundred percent, but enough for the next year. We buy the seeds in US dollar not Syrian lira, which affects our profits but we have no other choice, the land needs to be cultivated.”
-Soundbite (Um Ahmad – Worker in collecting hay):
“We are here from Hemo village. We are women in their mid forties and fifties. We have to work to support our families. Our lands depend on rain water but the past two seasons, rain is low. Price of sheep has decline, while the price of hay and feed has increased. Our financial condition is difficult. Prices of bread and vegetables have increased as well. All family members are working to make a living but it still isn’t enough to cover daily expenses.”
-Soundbite (Fatima Alabdul – Worker in collecting hay):
“This season is devastating. We are barely making a living, sometimes we sleep without dinner, The situation is not that tragic though; we get by.”
-Soundbite (Mathlum Hassan – Co-president of Autonomous Administration public agriculture authority):
“We provided mazut (fuel oil) and fertilizers for better crop yields. We have a plan to overcome the drought that has greatly affected farmers, which is increasing cultivation of irrigated areas by continuing to grant licenses for drilling wells and encouraging advanced irrigation methods with the aim of using less water and irrigating more land.”