After predictions of price hikes, regime’s government encourages import of potato seeds
On Saturday, February 10, the Syrian regime’s government approved an extension of the exemption period for the import of potato seeds for this season.
The office of the Council of Ministers stated that the head of government, Hussein Arnous, agreed on the recommendation to extend the exemption period granted to the public and private sectors, as well as all foreign companies accredited in Syria, for the import of potato seeds.
The government justified this by the desire to import as many seeds as possible to cover the local market’s demand, encourage the entry of the largest possible quantity of seeds before the planting season and ensure the agricultural plan’s needs.
This step comes after the government began, on January 28, to distribute imported potato seeds to farmers in Latakia, following a fourfold price increase compared to the previous year, as reported by the government newspaper Tishreen.
Calculating the increase in the price of seeds from the previous season and comparing it to the selling price of potatoes to consumers, the price of a kilogram of potatoes is expected to reach 20,000 Syrian pounds, according to the newspaper.
The director of the Latakia Seed Multiplication branch, Ibrahim Sabiha, confirmed to Tishreen newspaper that the distribution of imported seeds began exclusively for the subscribed farmers, according to the percentage determined by the General Administration in Aleppo for the “Spunta” variety, amounting to 23.7 out of the subscribed quantity and this rate reaches 51.98 for the “Naema and Synergy” varieties, at a price of 20,000 pounds per kilogram for the “Spunta” variety and 21,000 pounds for the “Naema and Synergy” varieties.
He clarified that the price is determined by the General Administration in Aleppo based on its data and that the number of subscribers at the Latakia branch is 80 farmers and the subscribed quantity is 94.6 tons.
Up to ten thousands
The local Al-Baath newspaper said on the same day that the Farmers’ Union had previously warned that the price of potatoes in 2024 could reach ten thousand Syrian pounds, noting that this warning is beginning to come true, as the price of potatoes is nearing this level, although the reasons do not seem convincing, especially if the issue of providing seeds remains unresolved, after facing difficulties in importing sufficient quantities from abroad.
In 2023, the regime’s government agreed to export potato products for the “excess” quantities over the local market’s need, estimated at 40,000 tons, until the amount ran out, to begin exporting in June at quantities ranging from 200 to 300 tons daily, before the issuance was stopped in October due to a 150% price hike.
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