Syria ranks 4th in world olive oil production

Syria is well known through the world as one of the largest producers of olive and olive oil. This particular sector of agricultural industry within Syria covers an area of 532,000 hectares and totals 76 million olive trees.

It is estimated that there are approximately 850 million olive trees in the world, 98% are in the Mediterranean countries.

During the 2004 - 2005 season, Europe produced 69% putting the country in the 2nd place following Europe and in 4th place behind Spain, Italy and Greece.

The Syrian government is keen on developing the agricultural sector, particularly the growing of olive due to its importance in boosting the national economy. It exerted intensive efforts to increase productivity through carrying out reclamation projects providing saplings, loans and drawing up programmes that aim to combat diseases.

The planted areas and the number of olive trees in Syria have increased from 241,000 hectares and 26 million trees in 1980 to 532,000 hectares and 76 million trees in 2004. Productivity also has increased from 300,000 tons including 54,000 tones olive oil in 1980 - 1981, to one million tons in 2003- 2004 and 200, 000 tones.

In 2003 Syria attained self- sufficiency and exported more than 300,000 tons of olive oil to Arab and foreign countries.

The amount of olive oil production in 2005 referred to 700,000 tons. Local consumption of oil for 2004 reached 120,000 tons.

The development of this agriculture sector in line with the government's plan to plant 1-2 million trees per year will increase the surplus and create some challenges that may have impact on quality, marketing, guarantee of safe storage and other  facilities as production was about 85,000 tons in 2010 and storage capacity is not sufficient.

Director of Agriculture Bureau in Daraa, Eng. Abdulfattah         al Rahhal, said that the amount of olive oil production for this year 2012-  2013 is expected to reach 84, 000 tons and the expected production of olive oil is expected to reach 10,000 tons.

 

The total number of olive trees in the governorate is estimated at 6,3 million trees. Those trees cover an area of 24918 hectares in dry areas and 5463 hectares in irrigated areas, eng. Al Rahhal added.

It is worthy mentioned that the production in Daraa reached over 70, 000 tons last year. The governorate has 40 modern olive oil pressers and the production capacity of those pressers reaches 3250 tones of olive per day.

Deputy Director of Agriculture Bureau in Quneitra, Eng. Shaman Jumah, said that the planted area with olive oil in the governorate is estimated at 5371 hectares.

 The trees, including fruitful trees, in dry areas cover 49454 dunums and 5917 hectares in irrigated areas. The total amount of olive trees reaches 955,000, Eng. Jumah said.

The total production for this year 2012- 2013 is expected to reach 6027 tons, he added.

The plan in Quneitra for the agricultural season 2012- 2013 has witnessed enlarging in planting olive trees whereas the area is estimated at 170 hectares and the number of the saplings is estimated at 27200, Eng. Jumah concludedd.

 

Sh/ Kh