65-year-old Caziya Ileyat, who has grown vegetables in her small garden located in the town of Tell Tamer, has been engaged in agriculture since her childhood. She uses dry animal dung as an alternative to fuel.
Women’s role in agriculture cannot be ignored. They have been engaged in agriculture for thousands of years. Since women are responsible for their families, they face many challenges to survive. In times of war and crises, women save their families by making great efforts.
In North and East Syria, there is a garden in front of each house. The North and East Syrian women grow vegetables to overcome the economic crisis and the effects of the embargo imposed on their region. 65-year-old Caziya Ileyat, who lives in the Tell Tamer town of Hasakah, is one of these women. The deq (tattoo) and smiling face of Caziya Ileyat reflect the beauty of her soul. NuJINHA spoke to Caziya Ileyat about her garden and how she uses dry animal dung.
“These lands are the lands of our grandparents”
Born in Tell Tamer, Caziya Ileyat said, “These lands are the lands of our grandparents. We have been engaged in agriculture for as long as I can remember. After harvesting wheat and barley, we plant vegetables and milk the cow. We are also engaged in breeding goats and sheep. This year, I planted peppers, eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes in my garden. We also planted grass for our cows. The vegetables sold at the market are very expensive so I grow our own vegetables. This year, we do not have much grass for animals as it rained less. For this reason, we could not make cheese this year. We could only benefit from yoghurt and milk from our cows.”
“Dry animal dung is an alternative to fuel”
Speaking about the benefits of animal manures for soils, Caziya Ileyat said, “Animal manure has many benefits for soil. The people of the region have been making dry animal dung from animal manure for years. We burn dry animal dung in winter to heat our houses. I have a big family. We also burn dry animal dung to cook. Dry animal dung is an alternative to fuel for us. We collect animal manure from the ground. After keeping it in a place for a while, we shape it. Then, we put it on the walls to dry. We use goat and sheep manure as fertiliser. It has many benefits for soil.”
“Water shortage affects agriculture”
Emphasising the importance of achieving something by making an effort, Caziya Ileyat said, “I spend most of my time in my garden. Achieving something with effort is better than stealing. This year’s water shortage affects agriculture. If we had water, everyone would plant something in their gardens. But we suffer from water shortage now.”