Attempts by farmers in al-Safira area, in Aleppo’s eastern countryside, to protect their crops, their main source of income, against the recent depression affected Syria, which was accompanied by a strong frost, did not succeed.
Despite that some of the farmers in al-Safira resorted to covering their crops with three layers of agricultural, but this did not protect their crops from damage.
The damage rate in al-Safira crops due to the frost wave was estimated at about 42%, according to a committee from the Directorate of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform in the area.
"If the committee compensates us with seeds, it would be as a support for us, because the estimated amount for those affected will not suffice us to buy seeds, because of the drop of the value of the Syrian pound against the dollar," said a farmer from the affected area.
Another farmer, who preferred not to be identified, also indicated that despite his great loss, he will not receive compensation from the directorate, because "his crop was not completely damaged,” as the directorate usually compensates those whose crops were completely damaged.
"Before the Syrian crisis, the directorate was granting us agricultural loans which would helped us to start cultivating our lands, but today it refuses to compensate for the damage caused by the frost wave," he added.
However, Eng. Fawzi al-Khatib, the member of the Commission for Verification of Damages, explained that the poor agricultural support fund budget, which rises from taxes imposed on farmers and from the profits of nurseries affiliated with the directorate, stands against the complete compensation for the affected farmers.
Moreover, The financial compensation offered to peasants and farmers, to whom the legal conditions of compensation apply, is provided for the damage of catastrophic nature, and that the farmer owns a license prior to the date of the damage, so that he may then apply to the extension units or agricultural departments in the areas where the damage occurred. According to the law of the Agricultural Production Support Fund in Syria.