Investment of farmlands of absent owners… Hama governorate tops production of pistachios
The Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform of the Syrian regime government has talked about the pistachio harvesting rates for the current year after holding public auctions for the investment of lands whose owners are outside Syria or in areas controlled by the opposition.
Director of the pistachio office in the ministry Hassan Ibrahim said on 31 October that Hama governorate came first in pistachios production with about 31,877 tons, followed by Idlib governorate with about 16,276 tons, then Aleppo governorate with the production of 15,372 tons.
As for the remaining production, Ibrahim mentioned that it is distributed between the governorates of Homs, As-Suwayda, Rif Dimashq, and al-Ghab area.
The production of pistachios for the current year reached 65,159 tons harvested from 7.7 fruit trees, of which about 1.1 million trees were irrigated, and 6.5 million trees were rain-fed, according to the government newspaper, Tishreen.
The number of pistachio trees planted in Syria reached about 8.8 million trees distributed over an area of 58,953 hectares (589,530,000 square meters), Ibrahim said.
Ibrahim added that the pistachio exports reached 1,449 tons so far from the current season’s production, including 684 tons of pistachio seeds, 162 tons of full pistachio nuts with shells, and 593 tons of fresh green (raw) pistachio nuts.
He pointed out that the yields prices ranged from 3,500 to 8,000 Syrian pounds SYP (from 1.394 to 3.187 USD) per kilo at the end of the season for the fresh green pistachio.
Public auction to invest pistachio farmlands
On 21 July, the “Asset Management Committee” of the Head of the Military and Security Commission in Hama province announced an auction to ensure the investment of pistachio farmlands owned by people residing in areas held by the Syrian opposition factions in the Syrian north.
The auction included the pistachio farmlands in the towns and cities of Mhardeh, al-Lataminah, Latmin, Kafr Zita, and al-Zaka north-western Hama city.
The “National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces” has warned against the Syrian regime forces’ seizure of pistachio orchards in large areas of the northern Hama countryside, southern Idlib countryside, and the eastern parts of Maarat al-Numan city, after the displacement of their residents.
The coalition stated that the Syrian regime’s forces had seized thousands of dunums of pistachios, olives, and other fruits orchards.
The “Syrian National Coalition” considered that the regime’s auctions to distribute “thousands” of pistachio planted dunums to be shared by agents of the regime as the harvest season approaches, as an “organized looting operation” that violates the rights of displaced persons, and prevents their return to their areas.
It called on the international community and human rights organizations’ urgent intervention to prevent the regime’s control of that region, describing it as a “crime.”
Displaced farmers from the northern Hama countryside and southern Idlib countryside cannot reach their pistachio farmlands after the Syrian regime regained control of these areas.
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