The harvest season of the Damascene Rose starts with passion and hope for abundance

The people of Al-Marah village in Damascus countryside have started the harvest season for the  Damascene Rose that is spread in the fields of their village. This rose which conveyed the name of Syria to the whole world, thanks to the support and follow-up offered by the Syrian Trust for Development and other parties to expand its cultivation, has earned the right to be included within the list of the immaterial humanitarian heritage of UNESCO in 2019.

After mid-May of each year, the villagers start the  harvesting season of the Damascene Rose with great joy, hoping that the season will be at the level of their awaited wishes thanks to the high levels of rainfall  this year in Syria.

Village farmers showed that this year’s season is good and the quality of roses are better compared to past seasons, hoping that the yield and production will be better for the farmer who works throughout the year  up to the harvest.A harvest that everyone is waiting for, to secure their needs, indicating that within 15 days, the people will finish harvesting.The farmers hoped that the association concerned with the Damascene Rose will work with other parties to create places to store the rose products so as  achieve greater value for their crops. They expressed their love and passion for the rose, considering that the harvest season is a traditional event due to the special place the rose occupies in  people 's life as it is the source of their livelihood.

 

Muhammad Abbas confirmed that production this year is better as a result of the recent rains, pointing out that he has 40 dunums planted with the Damascene Rose , of which about one and a half tons have been harvested so far. He believes that the most important thing he did this season is that he transferred the device to extract water and   rose  oil directly to the field in a manner that saves time, effort and cost so as to  achieve added value to the product, stressing that the province has secured for  him the required extraction requirements. 

Mansour Abbas confirmed that early harvest is much better as the dew beads have not yet evaporated .This is important to preserve the essential oil  in the  extraction process so that the product is of high quality. He explained that after harvesting, the roses are spread slightly then an appropriate amount is put  in the device with a high temperature and once the distillation begins, the device is cooled and the temperature lowered. The first 10 liters which are extracted from rose water is used for cosmetic purposes while the second 10 liters are used for the food industry, because they have lighter fat.

Head of the Al-Marah Society for the Revival and Development of the Damascene Rose, Median Bitar stressed that after the rose and its products were included in the list of the immaterial humanitarian heritage, the work has doubled to expand its production and develop its industries, pointing out that the total area planted with the Damascene Rose reached about 3500 dunums in the village this season thanks to the reclamation processes that were carried out and the great support provided by the Syrian Ministry of Agriculture and the Syrian Trust for Development. It is expected that the production for this season will reach about 60 tons  taking into consideration that the price of one kilo of the  green roses this season is SYP2500, while the price of a kilo of dry rose buds reaches about SYP 7000 .

Bitar pointed out that work is underway to produce 500 grams of essential oil at a price ranging between SYP 80 and 90 thousand per gram according to international prices, stressing that the association is keen to protect and support the farmer to reach a yield that enables him to achieve the added value for his crops.

The Secretary of the Agricultural Society in Al-Marah village, Ameen Hamza Al-Bitar showed optimism as the farmers managed to increase the areas planted with the Damascene Rose and reclaim other areas and dig two wells to secure complementary irrigation for the rose in the dry seasons, pointing that the cultivation of roses in the village is very old and occupied large areas but weather conditions and lack of the rain during the past seasons contributed to the failure of many roses' fields in the production process.

Al-Bitar added that the people have a desire to develop rose cultivation by finding  larger areas for manufacturing as well as  supporting farmers with devices that distill the rose and enable them to produce the most desired rose water and rose oil to  the whole world.

The Damascene Rose  will remain the symbol of  beauty and  absolute femininity, and a mark that characterizes the Syrian identity. It is grown in every home. Its cultivation was launched from Syria to Europe. Work is under way to expand its cultivation to include various regions in Syria.

Amal Farhat

 

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