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Syria to Remain Arab’s No. 5 in Organic Farming: Agriculture Minister

DAMASCUS, (ST) - Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, Ahmed Qadri, recently underlined the importance of encouraging work in spreading organic farming through legislative and legal frameworks, particularly with the adoption of agricultural systems in the world to achieve sustainability and integration in the field of agriculture.

 During his meeting with members of the Syrian National Committee for Organic Production,  the minister pointed out that traditional farming in the seventies and application of intensive agricultural systems have led to the deterioration of soil fertility, particularly the kind which depends on duplicated farming of the crop itself, indicating the urgent need to promote and encourage the application of organic farming because it keeps the soil and its fertility and provides a product of economic benefit.

"A large part of the national strategy for organic farming was carried out and Syria today is ranked the fifth in the Arab world in this farming, confirming the availability of objective and environmental conditions to develop this farming, as well as presence of a group of schools for farmers in the governorates that instruct farmers about consolidating the concept of organic farming and adopting such kind of farming," the Minister clarified.

He also called to raise a slogan, entitled "This organic farming is made in Syria", in the ministry and the various concerned bodies to upgrade this important economic product in cooperation with specialist scientists, pointing to the role being played by the ministry to accomplish projects of biological control, which is one of the components of organic farming through planting citrus in the coast and eastern regions in Deir Ezzour, where the area is estimated about 20 thousand hectares.

For his part, Director of the Organic Production Bureau at the ministry, Dr. Mazen Madani, reviewed the legal framework for the creation of the organic production Bureau and the objectives and strategies of the Bureau at the Ministry in accordance with the national strategy by monitoring, applying of organic production and licensing certificates, collecting of statistical information, promotion of organic products, facilitating the entry of organic production requirements and compatibility with the law of international laws for organic farming.

For his part, Director of Agricultural Policies, Dr. Osama Al-Sa'adi, explained the National Strategy for Organic farming, its concept, its objectives, realities, legal, and its legislative aspects and the projects proposed for implementation, noting to the positive points for this farming that ensures safety of the environment and natural balance, maintaining human health and organisms where this farming evolved during the last ten years.

Sh. Kh.

A Syrian Boycott Office of Certain Turkish Companies

DAMASCUS, (ST)_ Deputy Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, Dr. Abdul Salam Ali  said that the Ministry will establish special office provides for  boycotting  certain  Turkish companies contributed  to sabotaging the national economy .

In a press statement on Sunday, Ali explained that actions towards these companies include not allowing them to invest later in Syria nor to finalize either import or export deals with them.

In turn, President of the Federation of the Syrian Chambers of Industry Fares Shihabi said that founding the office came at the request of the Union, adding that the boycott includes companies supported  Erdogan's government election campaign or companies  violated Syrian laws and regulations.

He also underlined  the importance of boycotting  companies which smuggled  their  products illegally into the Syrian market.

 T. Fateh

Open Dialogue takes into Account Public Interest to Support Economy

DAMASCUS, (ST) -. During a meeting held recently by professors of the Faculty of Economy at the University of Damascus, Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, Dr. Mohammed ZaferMahbaq, underlined the importance of conducting an open dialogue and take into account the public interests to support the national economy in light of the circumstances surrounding Syria.

The minister pointed to the repercussions of the crisis and the cease of shipping to prevent bank transfers in addition to sanctions, saying that all of this was the result of the organic link with the countries of the European Union and the West.

“The drift towards the East is strategic in the long term to ease the Western intervention in the national economy, indicating the importance of this approach to reduce the pressure as it is associated with using local money instead of hard currency to get rid as much as possible from the constraints and obstacles that come from the link in foreign currencies and the economy of Western countries,” the minister pointed out.

He also stressed the importance of investment for the advancement of the homeland through encouraging local investors and finding ways to attract investment to because there is no economy or development without investment, pointing to the need to interact with professors and communicate with them about what benefit the Syrian economy and how to improve performance to achieve favorable conditions and improve productive energy.

 For his part, Dean of Faculty of Economy at the University of Damascus, Dr. Mustafa al -Kafri, pointed out to the need to deal with the exceptional situation which the country is going through, indicating that the work must be in two parallel directions to map out plans for the exceptional situation and plans for future matters with respect to production, consumption, and exchange rate and others.

Professors also debated procedures and mechanisms adopted by the government to reduce the degradation of the lira at present and high exchange rate and its impact on the purchasing power of citizens, emphasizing the ability of the academic staff to mobilize human resources to support the national economy and the importance of these meetings between academics to discuss such important topics.

Sh.Kh.

Badia Development: Growing 500 thousand Pastoral Seedlings

DAMASCUS, (ST) - The Public Commission for the Management, Development and Protection of the Desert confirmed that the general situation of the pastures in the desert is reassuring and promising thanks to good rain during the season in addition to planting half a million of pastoral seedlings in the desert and producing about 650 thousand seedlings within the framework of rehabilitation of the deteriorating areas despite the difficult circumstances experienced by the country.

The Commission, in a report, showed that it had gathered in cooperation with the local population 1.5 tons of seeds of pastoral different and the process of collecting is still continuous in preparation for use in the rehabilitation of degraded areas, noting that the condition of the shrubs in the reserves between the good and the middle as a result of the good rainfall during the current season.

The Commission emphasized in its report that the reality of livestock is good due to the fact that herds are didn’t exposed to pandemics and diseases as a result of environmental conditions that are acceptable this winter in the Badia. It is expected to get high birth rate, productivity in milk and meat as soon as temperature rises.

The Commission noted in its report that the plants in the desert are in the process of germination and need for a short period to be eligible to receive herds of livestock.

Earlier, the Commission resettled species of extinct plants and endangered species through the establishment of 9 environmental reserves, 13 pastoral nurseries, 10 pastoral seed multiplication centers, gene banks, vegetation and the development of eco-tourism and the protection of cultural heritage of the desert.

Sh. Kh.                                              

Projects to Protect Water Resources from Pollution

DAMASCUS, (ST) - Syria lies in a semi- arid area which is characterized with scarcity of water resources and lack of compatibility with the regional distribution of the population and thus these resources will be exposed to great pressures in quality and quantity and an increase in demand for water that exceeds the volume of the renewable and available resources in some places and other data are the basis upon which the integrated management of water resources as atop priority due to the importance of water in the national economy, which depends basically on irrigated farming which is considered the largest consumer of water.

The Ministry of State for Environment Affairs as a government agency is responsible for protecting the environment elements, particularly water resources. The ministry doesn’t implement investment projects on the ground such as supplying drinking water or providing sewage services.

Director of Water Safety Bureau at the Ministry of State for Environment Affairs, Eng. Reem Abed Rabbo, said that “the ministry is a body that supervises on water resources, maps out the related environmental specifications, follows up the implementation of its projects by concerned authorities which reflects positively on the environmental situation of water.” 

  Eng. Abed Rabbo confirmed that the ministry, in all its environmental reports issued since the nineties, had given special attention to the protection of water resources, pointing out that the problem of water contamination occupies apriority among the rest of the other environmental problems.

“Syria is among the countries that prepared a national strategy for sustainable development and the ministry seeks access to water bodies and clean waterways by 2025 as a strategic objective. The ministry is implementing a range of activities and projects that will enhance the work on integrated environmental management of water resources, including monitoring projects and integrated environmental management of major rivers and lakes. The idea starts from the need to develop a national plan to reduce gradually of pollutants that are usually discarded in water bodies and main courses of water to get safe and pure water by 2025,” Eng. Abed Rabbo added.

“To achieve this goal, a survey is conducted to all resources of contamination in the river basins and then projected onto digital maps, mapping out a national plan for environmental integrated monitoring of water resources and developing a national plan for environmental management of river basins that aim at gradual reduction of pollutants by 2025,” Eng. Abed Rabbo clarified.

“The work has actually begun in the basin of the North Great River since 2011 to implement the first phase of the project, where all resources of contamination and the sites of discharge on the North Great River, its branches and Lake 16 October Dam were surveyed. All data is downloaded on digital maps by using geographic information system in addition to maps that define sites of sewage contamination,” Eng. Abed Rabbo added.

“All resources of pollution and the sites of discharge at Al -Abrash River in Tarous were surveyed and the work will start in the future to implement the same project on the Southern Great River, Orontes River and Euphrates Dam. In parallel with the implementation of these projects, the ministry plans to set up environment observation networks on main rivers,” Eng. Abed Rabbo pointed out.

Eng. Roula Jabbour, from the Directorate of Water Safety, underlined that setting up environment observation networks on the Northern Great River in Lattakia later will be a first step to be circulated to the rest of rivers in later stages.

Sh. Kh.