Syria needs to import more than 1.5 million tonnes of wheat a year, with majority from Russia, Interfax news agency reported Syrian economy minister Mohamed Samer al-Khalil as saying.
Syria’s crop was hit by low rainfall last year…, adding pressure on an economy already hit by ten years of internal conflict, U.S. sanctions, a lack of funds to finance imports and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Syria has to buy about 1.5 million tonnes of wheat, even more. Of course, Russia plays the main role in this,” the Syrian minister was quoted as saying by Interfax during his visit to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014.
The minister said the crop fell to 400,000 tonnes of wheat due to the Syrian conflict, from a previous 2 million tonnes.
Syria’s main wheat and barley crop producing areas are located in the northeast of the country, which is now under the control of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces spearheaded by the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia.
Russia is one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat and is an ally of Bashar al-Assad.