The local council in rebel-held Aleppo city has planted vegetables in public areas throughout the war-torn neighborhoods in preparation for a possible blockade as battles continue on several fronts including near Castello road, the only gateway connecting Aleppo with its countryside.
A local council official told Zaman al-Wasl said that the idea stemmed from the common fear of blockade due to the fierce attack on the northern countryside, adding that the agriculture office in response adopted the project of planting in small open areas and on balconies.
The official said the objective of the project is to help families reduce their dependency on food aid, provide jobs for the unemployed and improve the environment by distributing seeds and fertilizers to a number of neighborhoods throughout the city.
The council conducted a number of seminars to promote the importance of agriculture among the population, pointing out that the total area planted is estimated at almost 7.5 acres throughout the neighborhoods of Hananou, Jabal Bodour, and al-Misraniye.
Crops include tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, beans, lettuce, spinach and zucchinis, and will provide a strategic backup supply in case of a blockade.
The planting project follows similar attempts to grow food in the besieged Waer neighborhood in Homs, where locals planted in neighborhood gardens and on rooftops to overcome the blockade imposed by the regime and pro-regime militias for more than two years.
Earlier in February, head of the Aleppo local council Baryta Haji Hasan had warned in a press statement of an impending blockade on Aleppo as regime forces, allied militias, Kurdish fighters, and the Islamic State group simultaneously attacked the rebel districts from a number of sides.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.