Syria's Olives Production Climbs to 830,000 Tons in 2019: Agriculture Ministry

DAMASCUS, (ST)- Olives production in Syria this year is expected to climb to 830,000 tons compared to last year production, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Last year, olives production witnessed a notable decrease because of the weather conditions, the diseases that hit the olives trees,  the sabotage acts against olive groves and because terrorists prevented farmers from reaching their lands.

The Director of Plant Production at the ministry, Engineer Abdul-Mo’en Qidmani, told SANA economic bulletin that the ministry is drawing up plans to rehabilitate the olives groves targeted by terrorism over the past years and to ensure good quality seedlings to re-plant these groves and to restore the normal level of production, particularly after the Syrian army brough back security and stability to wide areas in Syria.

 Qidmani added that despite the decrease in production over the past years, the need of local consumers of olives and olive oil has been met, pointing out that some quantities of olive oil have been exported to foreign markets.

On his part, Eng. Mohamed Habou, Director of the Olives Office at the Ministry of Agriculture said that according to the ministry's estimates, olive oil production is to reach 150 thousand tones.

He made it clear that the increase in olives production is estimated at about 130,000 tons compared to 2018 in which production fell to less than 700 thousand tons.

The Syrian province of Lattakia comes first in production with 168,000 tons, followed by Idleb with 161,000 tons, Aleppo with 143,000 tons, Tartous with 130,000 tons and Homs with 90,000 tons, according to Habou.  

Habou emphasized that the Syrian olive oil is one of the best in the world due to its unique characteristics in terms of flavor, color and smell, noting that in 2018, Syria exported some 30,000 tons of olive oil to 33 countries.

Figures published by the Ministry of Agriculture, indicate that Syria has about 82 million olive trees.

Hamda Mustafa