Heavy rains, low costs encouraged al-Raqqa people on rain-fed agriculture

The farmers of al-Raqqa city have returned to rely on rain-fed agriculture, due to the lack of rain and the drought in the past years, which effected all the Syrian lands in general, and in particular al-Raqqa city that caused the farmers to leave the cultivation of their rain-fed lands.

The north and east regions of Syria have witnessed heavy rainfall this year, it was the first of its kind since dozens of decades. According to the elderly, this rainfall has not been seen since 1988.

The low costs of one dunum of unirrigated land have pushed the farmers to resort to rain-fed agriculture. The cost of the dunum is 8,000 Syrian pounds and does not require fertilizer and watering, but depends entirely on rainfall. This has encouraged the farmers in al-Raqqa to turn out to the rain-fed agriculture.

Wheat cultivation has been higher than that of barley, because wheat is considered the main crop for being exported to any part outside north and east of Syria and it is very important to make the bread and other main food. While the barley's time of sale is specific, where rainfall causes to reduce its price and the unwillingness of the livestock owners to buy it for their cattle, unlike the years that have passed where the barley was more expensive than wheat in most cases.

According to the estimates of the villagers, the area of the cultivated lands with rain-fed agriculture does not exceed 70% of the total area of the agricultural land. Thus, the area of the rain-fed cultivated lands in al-Raqqa has exceeded 14 thousand square kilometers. The total area of the region is 19 thousand square kilometers.

The farmer Musa al-Jaber of the village of Maizila in the northern countryside of al-Raqqa says that "this year's heavy rains have given us hope to cultivate the rain-fed lands. This precipitation encouraged us to re-plow the rain-fed lands again. We hope that the rainfall will continue till end of this season, and include all the Syrian areas."



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