Women of Kobanê start harvesting legumes

This report by Norşan Ebdi was published by Jinha Women’s News Agency on 22 May, 2023

In Kobanê Canton, women have started harvesting legumes such as wheat, barley and lentils. Having a strong connection to lands, women thus achieve their economic independence.

The harvest of legumes begins at the beginning of May in the Kobanê Canton of North and East Syria. The women of Kobanê have already started harvesting legumes such as wheat, barley and lentils to achieve their economic independence.

Kobanê is one of North and East Syrian canton famous for its legumes, particularly for its wheat, barley, coriander and lentils. Women living in rural areas of the canton start harvesting legumes at the beginning of May every year. In the harvesting season, they wake up early in the morning and work until sunset.

They harvest lentils

Hiza Mahmoud, 30, lives in the village of Aydaq, south of the canton. “We are very busy every year at the beginning of summer. When lentils turn yellow to brown, we understand it is the time for the harvest. Women pull the lentil plants from the ground and then set the plants behind in a pile. While the lentil plants are being harvested, they are still moist. For this reason, it is not easy to remove the outer shell,” Hiza Mahmoud told NuJINHA.

They make a living from agriculture

Talking about the last stage of the harvest of lentils, Hiza Mahmoud said, “After the plants are completely dry, we put the lentils in the threshing machine. We use the crop residue of lentil harvesting from the threshing process as fodder for our animals. Women living in the canton achieve their economic independence and make a living from agriculture.”

‘Women have a strong connection to land’

The women living in rural areas work hard not only in summer but also in winter. After working for hours, they have to do housework. “We have to work outside during the day. After we return home, we have to do housework. Despite all the difficulties, I like working in agriculture. Women have a strong connection to land, agriculture and nature.”

‘There is an abundance of products this year’

Beru Ahmed, 60, is also from the village of Aydaq. She has been engaged in agriculture since she was 15. “We harvest lentils at the beginning of May every year.  The rainfall was better this year, compared to previous years. This year, we planted lentils on four hectares of land. We also planted wheat. After several years of drought and low rainfall in the region, the production of crops has decreased significantly. But the production of crops will increase this year. There is an abundance of products this year. The families engaged in agriculture face many problems because the Turkish state prevents the flow of the Euphrates water to the region. In our village, women help each other to harvest the crops.”