Northwestern Syria farmers replace olive trees with grapes

Olives are among the most important resources from the northern Idlib governorate. Although olive cultivation formed part of the identity of the town of Harem, north of Idlib city, farmers had to uproot olive trees and replace them with grapevines during the past years.

One grower said that while working on installing iron pergolas for grapevines on his agricultural land, west of Harem, four years ago, he uprooted all the olive trees of his 0.5 ha land. Olive trees occupy more space than grape trees require, but the profits are three times less than what grapes produce in a lesser area.

Another farmer from Harem asserted that grape cultivation is an original in the town and has increased over the past years, noting that despite the high cost of growing grapes, it remains a “profitable business” for most farmers.


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