Hassakeh’s cotton farmers persist in their harvest efforts across stable agricultural regions, despite the absence of government facilities for receiving their crops. Traditionally, they used to sell their produce to processing centers in the central region in previous seasons.
According to data from the Directorate of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform in the governorate, the cultivated cotton area covers 6,135 hectares, with 825 hectares affected by the presence of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in most of these areas. The Directorate of Agriculture estimates a total production of 21,472 tons from this cultivated area.
The Syrian government has set the purchase price of cotton at 10,000 Syrian pounds, which many producers and farmers find rewarding and offers a suitable profit margin. However, the challenge lies in marketing the crop due to the absence of a dedicated center for receiving these quantities from farmers.
Confidential sources informed Athr Press that allowing the Autonomous Administration to export cotton beyond its controlled borders suggests a lack of intent to receive the crop, despite setting the price at $800 per ton. Previously, the administration had not allowed the export of cotton outside the region.
These sources added, “Given this situation, farmers will have no choice but to turn to traders, as the high transportation costs and the absence of cotton receipt facilities by self-management make it impossible to market the crop outside the governorate. This situation may discourage cotton cultivation in the upcoming seasons, despite its strategic importance.”
The cultivation of cotton in Hassakeh has witnessed a significant decline in recent years due to the war’s impact on the agricultural sector. The cotton-growing area has dwindled from 52,000 hectares in 2011 to 6,135 hectares in the 2023 season, and this trend is expected to continue in the coming years.
During the crisis years, many farmers and producers in Hassakeh had to rely on self-financing for cotton cultivation due to the lack of government funding for agricultural production. Cotton cultivation is a financially demanding endeavor, requiring irrigation and consistent watering throughout the growing season, which adds to the burdens faced by farmers. Additionally, the production costs, including seeds, fertilizers, and fuel, are considerably high.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.