Derik, Syria− The Syrian northeastern area of Derik is known for its yearly agricultural production. The city and its countryside −located on the Tigris River in the Turkish-Syrian-Iraqi border triangle− used to contribute with a large portion to the Syrian production of wheat, cotton, lentil and barely. However, the three-year-old crisis apparently overshadowed the agricultural activity in the area.
According to locals, the crops require irrigation, fertilizers, insecticides and sufficient care.
“These substances were provided cheaply by the (governmental) Guidance Units. However, they became rare and expensive following the Regime’s loss of its institutions in Derik,” Said Yusuf Ali, a farmer from Derik countryside, where Kurds constitute a majority.
“The price of fertilizers is four times higher by now. Merchants control the prices, and the warehouses of the Agricultural Banks became empty (went bankrupt),” Yusuf told ARA News. “We are now obliged to resort to Qamishli city, instead of these banks and the local seeds center, to receive the fertilizers bags. Sometimes, we wait three days to get them.”
The absence of the government and the closure of most of the agricultural bank branches in Hasaka province −where Derik is located− created a state of indecision among farmers. They are not sure whether to sell their crops to these competent governmental institutions or not.
Mohamad Abdruhman, another farmer in Derik/al-Malikiyah, told ARA News: “I have been a farmer for more than twenty years. Today I am afraid to sell my wheat crop to the Syrian Government without receiving my cash.”
According to Abdulrahman, the Agricultural Bank in the area delayed the payment of farmers for more than four months last year.
“After months of delay, we organized a protest in front of the bank until we got paid,” Abdulrahman said.
Although agriculture is considered a main profession in Hasaka province, especially in Derik, farmers reconsider working in their lands because of the long list of problems, not to mention the rain shortage and natural lesions.
Reporting by: Memmo Derki
Source: ARA News
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