Damsco Group’s Plans for Agricultural Development in Syria
According to collapse expert, Luke Kemp in his article published on “BBC” website civilization is defined as “a society with agriculture.”
Agriculture is one of the essential pillars of a state’s solid foundation. As the economy is the lifeline for any civilized entity on earth, and its pulse is nourished by agriculture, industry, trade and the investing of natural resources, it was crucial to focus on restoring the agriculture of a country thorn and exhausted by eight years of war and crisis.
Damsco Group led by its founder and CEO Mohannad Al Masre, established strategic restoration plans to revive the sector of agriculture in post-war Syria, by investing in the fertile Syrian land that was neglected during the bitter years of war, which affected not only the Syrian peasant and farmer, but the entire Syrian community with all its categories.
Syrian entrepreneur, Mohannad Al Masre’s plans, cover almost all industrious and service sectors in Syria, through the active involvement of Damsco Group’s different companies in the reconstruction of the country.
According to FAO reports, the Syrian agriculture sector suffered massive losses that reached 1.8 billion US dollars by 2013. By the end of 2015, the Syrian Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform estimated the total losses of the sector by 2 billion US dollars. These numbers reached 225 billion US dollars according to the Syrian Center for Policy Research (SCPR).
International reports of UN agencies show that 9.8 million people in Syria face food insecurity, and as many as 6.8 million live in extreme adversity, which negatively impacts the agricultural projects and the grocery trade market to a threatening extent.
On the other hand, according to the reports of the Syrian Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, 7000 pine trees were planted in the country in 2017, and more than 3000 fruitful trees were planted in 2016.
Through its enterprises in the sectors of agriculture and the trade of main foodstuffs such as sugar, flour, olive and vegetable oils, Damsco Group upheld its approach in supporting the Syrian farmer regardless of the location of his land on the Syrian crisis map.
The strategy of Damsco Group was to take an equal stand to all sides, supporting the Syrian community without giving heed to the dividing classifications of the crisis, and purchasing the local agricultural produce for support price.
For the future, Damsco Group is considering the prospect of supporting agricultural projects in the governorate of Idlib, through the provision of affordable fertilizers and pesticides, as well as basic and essential agricultural equipment and machinery.
The Group is also investigating the best ways to encourage the Syrian youth to repatriate and to create opportunities for those who wish to invest in the sector of agriculture.
In this context, Damsco Group works on revitalizing the trade of Pistachio in the country, considering that growing this crop is widespread in Syria, which came in the fourth place in its production in the world after Iran, Turkey and USA (before 2011).
As growing “Aleppo pistachios” is centered in Aleppo, Hama and Idlib, Damsco Group provides safe land transportation services between the Syrian governorates and appropriates local trading markets for the crops in the Middle East.
Led by its chairman Mr. Mohannad Al Masre, Damsco Group also intends to support agricultural research for growing and cultivating Pistachio and help its production regions in Aleppo, Idlib and Hama to recover from the destruction and damage caused by the war.
In conclusion, as agriculture is the source of livelihood for humankind and civilizations, it is crucial that Syrians contribute to its development for the sustainable restoration of their country.
All the reports, numbers and tables in this article have been taken from the Syrian Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform (GFAR) and FAO.