SHARVIN MUSTAFA- TOLIN HASAN/ AL-SHAHBA
A third of the people of al-Shahba canton depend on agriculture as the main source of their income, the area is distinguished by its agricultural diversity, abundant production, fertile soil for growing vegetables and various legumes, as it depend on Afrin canton as the main source of export and storage in its warehouses after the outbreak of the Syrian crisis.
During the current year, farmers suffered from a lack of rainfall until the middle of the agricultural season, and after the monsoon rains caused the growth of green wheat spikes and its harvest has come closer, which in turn cause the dryness and moisture of lentils and wheat in particular, except for the lack of fertilizer availability, which was the second factor of the decline in production quality this year.
The farmers' fears of poor production have increased, with wheat quality falling by more than 630 hectares, barley with more than 1450 hectares, and the percentage of tons extracted from them, as well as other legumes(lentils, cumin, chickpeas, beans and coriander) the general percentage in al-Shahba canton cultivated twice the figures mentioned above.
According to farmers, this year's losses have doubled in the agricultural season as a result of spending large sums on the needs of the plantations and the lack of self-sufficiency to benefit from production.
Farmers confirmed that the current season fell down by 50 % from 2017, which benefited from the sale of a percentage of it, and ensure self-sufficiency as well.
The quality decline in production is due to the harvesting of barley, which is currently working with 20 harvesters to harvest wheat and barley season in the al-Shahba canton.
"This year's crop of barley and wheat are very weak and dropped by half this year, in 2017 it produced 40 bags per hectare and this year it is 12 bags or less," said Sobhi al-Ahmad, head of Agriculture Committee of al-Shahba canton.
Sobhi has pointed out that there are no warehouses for grain storage in al-Shahba canton, and are now working on the establishment of alternative stores in al-Shahba to store this year, adding that there were 18 thousand tons of stocks of al-Shahba canton in the stores of Afrin.