Syria: Unprofitable tomato season for Daraa province

Although Syria’s Daraa province witnessed high efficiency and abundant quantities of tomatoes this year, still the farmers were stricken with losses. The reasons for this are the high production costs, which stripped out the profit margin that was supposed to cover the capital they invested and guarantee them revenues. The farmers were thus made vulnerable to financial losses during the summer harvest season.

Daraa’s farmers, cultivating tomato, could see the loss ahead of them, for the ongoing decline in the market price of the crop was a major indicator. The soaring costs of production and ever-decreasing price of the crop on the al-Hal Market, according to the farmers, are the reason behind the losses and disproportionate profits.

Muhammad Abu al-Khair, a farmer from Tafas, a town well-known for tomato cultivation in Daraa province, told Enab Baladi that tomatoes are sold on al-Hal markets at prices insufficient to cover production costs, including those of diesel, pesticides and fertilizers.

The diesel prices reached 400 Syrian pounds in the absence of government subsidies allocated for farmers this year, he added.

Abu al-Khair, 35 years old, told that tomatoes require an abundance of water, burdening the farmers further, already bothered by the high price of pesticides, organic fertilizers, chemical fertilizers and the spread of whitefly disease in tomato crops, necessitating a weekly usage of pesticides.

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