GIEWS Country Brief: Syrian Arab Republic - 04-May-2021



• Favourable weather conditions on west, but dry conditions affected main eastern cereal producing areas

• High costs of inputs hinder agricultural activities

• Cereal harvest in 2021 likely to be below average

• About 12.4 million food insecure in 2020, as economic challenges and rapid currency depreciation decrease purchasing power

Erratic rainfall and abnormal temperatures affected main eastern cereal producing areas

Sowing of the 2021 wheat crop, for harvest from mid-June, was completed last December. Barley is harvested from May. Across the country, the first substantial rainfall of the season was recorded with a delay in November.

Subsequently, well-distributed average to above-average precipitation amounts benefited crop development in the western part of the country. In the eastern governorates, including Hasakeh as well as parts of Raqqa, Aleppo and Deir-zor, which cumulatively provide about 80 percent of the annual wheat and barley production, rainfall has been irregular and vast swatches of land have been affected by drought. While in Aleppo the drought is limited to Ain al-Arab District and only about 5 percent of the total winter cereal production comes from Deir-zor, the entire area of Hasakeh, the governorate with the largest planted area, is concerned.

As of mid-April, above-average temperatures exacerbated the impact of the moisture deficit on winter cereal crops that were at crucial reproductive stages. Crop production is forecast at below-average levels as vegetation conditions of crops in April are very similar to those in 2017/18 when crops were severely affected by dry weather conditions.