Agricultural Cooperatives in Hasakah Guarantee Economic Advancement

This is a translation of an Arabic article by Azad Suffo that first appeared on Hawar News on 7 September, 2017.

With the success of the system of agricultural cooperative societies in Hasakah [Hesekê / Hesîçe / Al-Hasakah], the Agricultural Committee is working to develop them in preparation for the coming agricultural season.

The siege that has been imposed on the regions of Northern Syria by Turkey, the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the terrorist groups is preventing the entry of food, and therefore thwarting the project of self-administration and putting the region in an economic and humanitarian crisis. This problem has led the self-administration to look for alternatives by establishing economic projects to secure the daily needs of the people, improve the economy and achieve self-sufficiency.

Agriculture is one of the main sources of income in the Jazira Canton [Kantona Cizîrê‎ / Cezîre], which also provides raw materials for industry in the region. The Economic Committee in the Jazira formed 21 agricultural cooperative societies on 19 October 2016, in addition to five cooperatives for women.

The agricultural cooperative societies

The agricultural cooperative societies work on cooperative principles and are considered economic centres to serve the society and improve the economy and living conditions. The cooperatives do not only aim for profit, they are based on communal work, participation of common people, and protection of the environment. The cooperatives coordinate with one another, support each other and exchange expertise, and that contributes to increasing productivity and reducing unemployment, and promotes the development of the culture of cooperation in society.

There are now 1,515 participants in the agricultural cooperatives of Hasakah. The Agricultural Committee equally distributed 64,000 dunams [decares] of agricultural land to the cooperatives during a meeting which was attended by the coop members. Participation is open and the price for a share is 30,000 SYP [Syrian Pounds].

The cooperative societies and the agricultural projects are supervised by a committee that consists of 15 members. The committee organises field trips, monitors the crops and secures the harvest equipment and the needs for agriculture. The committee also forms other committees that consist of administrators who monitor the harvest in Hasakah and Mabrukeh.

Big success and increasing profits in the agricultural season

The agricultural cooperative societies planted 64,000 dunams of land in the agricultural season of 2016-2017. The crops varied from barley to cumin and lentils. The plantation was monitored by agricultural experts.

The agricultural committees distributed the dividends after the harvest, and the profit per share was 60,000 SYP.

Mizkin Ahmed, a member of the Committee of Agricultural Cooperative Societies in Hasakah, said in an interview with Hawar News that the cooperative societies in Hasakah had seen a great success after the big effort put in by the participants and administrators of the cooperatives in the region.

Turkey’s aggression caused the damage of 5,000 dunams of agricultural land

The Turkish aggression on the people and farmers in the border areas is one of the biggest problems facing the agricultural cooperative societies. The Turkish authorities are preventing the farmers from approaching their farms during harvest. According to Mizkin, members of cooperative societies couldn’t harvest 5,000 dunams because the Turkish military forces were shooting at the people and harvester trucks.

Mizkin confirmed at the end of the interview that the cooperatives societies are developing so well due to the huge participation of people, and they will expand through engaging more participants and more agricultural land.