Syrian Government Incentivizes Corn
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Corn is considered one of the strategic crops in Syria after wheat and cotton and is used in the manufacture of vegetable oil and foodstuffs. Last year, approximately 700,000 tons of Corn were expected to be produced, 400,000 tons of wet Corn, and 300,000 tons of dry Corn, which would help to considerably reduce imports of the grains used mainly as fodder for livestock. Syrian production of Corn was much higher thanks to the incentives offered by the Government to producers, said the manager of the State Fodder Company, Abdul Karim Shabat.
He revealed that decisions were taken at the Government level to support this crop and facilitate its purchase and processing, and purchase centers were even established near the planted areas. We set a very favorable price, and we aim to secure the needs those who faced difficulties in importing Corn due to its high prices in previous years, he added, hoping that farmers will double the planted areas for the next season as Corn will bring a good income.
Additionally, the lack of diesel allocations provided to farmers, the low level of wells water, the low production of winter crops, and the scarcity of natural pastures for livestock are other reasons prompted some to grow Corn to be used as fodder that lasts for a long time. Corn production brings “great” benefits compared to the “low” cost of cultivation.
According to Ammar Othman, an administrator in the Plant Production and Livestock Committee of the Agriculture Board of the Autonomous Administration in North and East Syria (AANES), the space of lands cultivated with Corn across Jazira region reached about 83,000 acres in 2022, compared with 73,000 acres of 2021.
Yellow Corn is fast-growing, unlike other crops, where the owners can harvest the crop three times in a short time. Despite increasing spaces cultivated with yellow Corn fit for human consumption, production does not achieve self-sufficiency and doesn’t cover the needs of local markets, according to Othman.
He added: “Its production and size are bigger, and it consumes lesser fuel for cultivation.” According to officials in the Agriculture Board in Jazira region, they import about 150 tons of yellow Corn annually to cover the needs of local markets. In light of the high cost of fodder, the Agriculture Board developed an agricultural plan to cultivate and increase spaces for livestock fodder Corn.
Corn Price in Syria
The General Establishment for Feed has set the price of one ton of dried local yellow Corn for the 2022 season at 2 million Syrian pounds (1 USD = 2,512 SYP). The Director General of the Foundation, Eng. Abdul Karim Shabat explained in a statement that the specified price is for the material that is delivered to the Foundation’s warehouses in all Governorates at an amount of 1.8 million Syrian pounds, with a subsidy of 200 thousand pounds per ton delivered to the Foundation, so that the final price becomes 2 million pounds per ton.
The estimates of the production of the yellow Corn crop for this season are about 450,000 tons of fresh Corn, stressing the Foundation’s readiness to receive all the dried quantities that are offered to it according to the specified price while providing all the necessary facilities. The price of the crop was paid to the farmers within 24 hours of the delivery of their Corn.
The Syrian Government priced a kilo of Corn at 1,750 SYP. 200 SYP was added to a kilo to encourage farmers to deliver their crops to the Government centers. That is, a kilo was sold for 1,950 SYP in total.
Other sources: NPASYRIA
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