Nusaybin, Turkey− Cotton farmers in the Hasaka province in northeastern Syria are still waiting to be paid for the delivery of their yearly cotton yield to the state-owned cotton gin in Hasaka city, which is the only place to deliver the farmers’ production of cotton in the province.
Due to the shortages of fuels required to run water pumps and the lack of electricity for those who used electric pumps for the cotton irrigation, many farmers were forced to stop cultivating cotton because of the current prohibitive costs of watering in general and watering cotton in particular −which requires higher degree of watering than other agricultural crops.
Farmer Abdul Razzaq Saeed, who owns a piece of land and who allocated part of it for cultivating cotton, told ARA News that the branches of the governmental Agricultural Cooperative Bank haven’t transferred to the farmers their benefits even after several months of submitting their cotton delivery.
“We would usually get our benefits in the last month of the year, but we haven’t received our receipts from the Agricultural Bank yet under the pretext that it hasn’t got any directives yet regarding the deduction of the state debts or delaying it for one year,” Saeed said.
Mohammed Sheikhmus, a farmer in Sere-Kaniye city, expressed his worries regarding the future of cotton production in the area.
“Non-payment of our last year’s benefits prevents us from carrying out our next cotton cultivation due to the inability to meet the requirements as most of the farmers are close to insolvency,” Shekhmous stated to ARA News.
According to locals, the three-year-old crisis in Syria left considerable impacts on the cultivation in the country, especially in the northeastern region which used to be recognized as Syria’s major agricultural resource, where agricultural outcomes constitute the main financial support for the region’s residents.
The recent wave of violence that struck the Kurdish populated northern and northeastern areas −especially the conflict between al-Qaeda affiliates and the Kurdish YPG forces− contributed to the mounting constraints on the agricultural production. Local sources said that many cultivating equipments and tools have been stolen amid increasing security vacuum in the region.
Reporting by: Zara Seyda
Source: ARA News
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