Syria facing wheat supply shortfall despite 27% production rise

Syria’s wheat production grew 27% in the 2020/21 marketing year to 2.8 million mt but that, together with the...

Syria’s wheat production grew 27% in the 2020/21 marketing year to 2.8 million mt but that, together with the government imports and food assistance programs, will still not be enough to cover domestic needs, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said in a report Wednesday.

And despite a year-on-year growth, wheat production in Syria will still be far below pre-crisis levels of 4.1 million mt.

FAO projected Syria’s total wheat imports in the 2020/21 marketing year at 1.5 million mt, of which 1.3 million mt is to be covered by government buying and another 253,000 mt via aid programmes.

But that will not be enough to cover demand of 4.7 million mt and will mean an uncovered shortfall.

“If the entire production harvested in both Government and non-Government-held areas was sold to Hoboob and would be available for consumption across the country in both Government and non-Government-held areas, and, after accounting for anticipated imports and food assistance, there would be an uncovered shortfall of about 250 000 tonnes of wheat,” FAO said.

For barley, growth of 12.7% will mean a 2.2 million mt crop while stocks of 310,000 mt will be enough to cover domestic demand at 2.5 million mt without any imports.

Total Syrian cereal production will grow 20% in the 2020/21 marketing year to 5.2 million mt.

Wheat area for 2021/22 crop was put at 1.8 million ha and barley at 1.5 million ha, with current output projections in line with the 2020/21 crops.

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