War-ravaged Syria may face worst wheat harvest in 40 years

Reuters reports: War and drought have crippled Syria’s wheat crop, with some experts now forecasting output of the staple food could fall to around a third of pre-war levels, and possibly even below 1 million metric tons ( 1 metric ton = 1.1023 tons) for the first time in 40 years.

Agricultural experts, traders and Syrian farmers who talked to Reuters gave crop estimates ranging from one million metric tons to 1.7 million at best, a more pessimistic range than that given by the United Nations earlier this month.

Before the war, Syria produced around 3.5 million metric tons of wheat on average, enough to satisfy local demand and usually permit substantial exports, thanks in part to irrigation from the Euphrates river that waters its vast eastern desert.

The last time its wheat harvest failed to exceed 1 million metric tons was 1973, although catastrophic droughts have pushed the crop close to that level in 1989 and 2008. [Continue reading…]

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