Syrian Export to Russia Increases*
Syria’s Minister of Agriculture Akhmed al-Qaderi gave an exclusive interview to Sputnik in which he discussed how the agricultural sector of Syria has become one of the priorities to which the government attaches great importance.
Even after 5 years of ongoing war, Syrian authorities do not cease to maintain support for the agricultural sector in the country, expanding the geographical and technical capacity of the country’s national agricultural production.
According to al-Qaderi despite the crisis, the country managed to develop a special program of concessional lending to farmers, which is given out to meet the needs of the private agricultural sector.
This financial support program for private farmers is designed to develop the agricultural sector in the provinces in order to supply all the major cities with necessary goods.
“All the steps we have taken have helped to revive the agriculture of Syria, after which the country reached a level of self-sufficiency and in some areas even exported goods in surplus,” the minister said.
However, it is worth mentioning that the ordeal for the agricultural sector was tough, as the terrorists in Syria did not leave the agricultural sector without damage.
Knowing about Syria’s high dependence on domestic farm production, the terrorists destroyed the institutions of agriculture research and technology. They mined the fertile fields and killed the livestock.
Even the forests in the north of the country in the provinces of Aleppo and Latakia were subjected to deliberate destruction by fire.
“The agricultural sphere of economy is practically the only industry that continues to operate in spite of the intentional infliction of harm by the terrorists. It was possible to maintain the production of all products, which were produced before the war,” Al-Qaderi said.
Syria’s Minister of Agriculture also explained that the research centre of the ministry has made a study of the “Green Corridor”, which connects the Syrian port with the Russian Novorossiysk port. This study was officially sent to all of the parties interested in export business.
“The main factor in the successful implementation of the Green Corridor and increase of the bilateral trade turnover is to establish a systematic sea route, which will increase the export of Syrian goods to Russia,” the minister said.
Al-Qaderi further spoke about how 2015 became an effective year for Syria in terms of sale of agricultural products to the Russian market.
This result was achieved not only by Russian sanctions on Western and Turkish products but also due to the coordinated work of the Syrian and Russian parties in export business.
“The products we supplied to Russia, enjoyed good demand from the Russian retailers and Russian consumers. This year, we are preparing for the new season to increase last year’s export performance in Russia, as there are private companies that provide transportation by sea for a very large number of goods,” the minister said.
He added that it is mainly a question of the export of citrus products that are distinguished by organic production without any use of chemicals as crop fertilizers.
Last week, a meeting was held between Syria’s Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Economy, Exporters Union, Committee on the Export Development, Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Internal Affairs, during which the issue of export of goods to the Russian market was thoroughly discussed.