Leyla Saruxan, co-chair of Hasakah‘s Economy Committee for the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, talks about how drought and war seriously affect agriculture, “We will overcome this crisis by developing new projects.”
North and East Syria and other parts of Syria has been suffering from the drought for three years due to the low rainfall. The drought has affected the agricultural areas and decreased agricultural products. In North and East Syria, the drought caused by the low rainfall is defined as a “crisis”. NuJINHA spoke to Leyla Saruxan, co-chair of Hasakah’s Economy Committee for the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, about the crisis and their projects to fight this crisis.
The Cizîre Region is well known for its agricultural areas. Leyla Sarûxan says the agriculture in the region is affected by both the drought and ongoing war. “When you talk about the Cizîre Region, the first thing that comes into your mind is agriculture because 60 percent of the people in the region work in agriculture. However, many farmers left their lands and went to other regions due to the war. In addition, the Syrian crisis has caused the Syrian lira to dramatically decline in value against the dollar. Due to the loss of its value against the dollar, farmers could not buy agricultural materials.”
Decrease in agricultural products
Indicating that the farmers face many problems due to drought, Leyla Sarûxan said, “Despite the problems, the farmers meet 70 percent of the agricultural demands in the region. The region has been suffering from the drought for three years due to the low rainfall. The drought causes the decrease in agricultural products. Last year, we were able to meet 70 percent of the people’s demand for wheat. This year, rainfall is also low but the distribution of precipitation over months is good. If rainfall levels are sufficient in March, the amount of agricultural products will be more.”
‘Agriculture is an important resource’
Adding that the Economy Committee meets the needs of farmers, Leyla Sarûxan said, “The Economy Committee for the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria is responsible for all agricultural affairs. It makes annual plans. It is also responsible for providing diesel, seeds and fertilizers to farmers. It tries to fulfill its responsibility. The committee works coordinately with other committees to meet the needs of farmers. Everyone knows that agriculture is an important resource in North and East Syria.”
Speaking about the projects of the Economy Committee, Leyla Sarûxan said, “We have a research department currently working developing agricultural methods to combat climate change. We have a four-year plan to provide the needs of people such as cotton, corn and vegetables.”