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					Syrian Arab Republic
  Ministry of Agriculture
            and
    Agrarian Reform


                       New Orientations
                             of
                  Syrian Agricultural Policy


                            Erfan Alloush
                        Advisor to the Minister of
                    Agriculture and Agrarian Reform

                      Agricultural Policy Forum 2005
                                22 / 6 / 2005
                Main Topics

1. Indicators of the Agricultural Status
2. Agriculture Development Determinants and
   Challenges
3. General Objectives of Agricultural
   Development
4. Policies and Strategies Required to
   Achieve the Objectives


                                              2
                     First:
     Indicators of the Agricultural Status
• The Government started, since the sixth five-year
  plan (1986 -1990), a gradual process of move
  towards indicative planning.
• The yearly plans adopted a participatory approach
  and decentralized strategy.
• The agricultural policies kept the government role in
  resource allocation, and increased contribution of
  private sector in production and marketing.
• The applied policies had positive and negative
  impacts:
                                                      3
A. Positive Impacts

• Increased the irrigated area.
• Attained self sufficiency in strategic crops,
  vegetables and fruit to meet domestic demand and
  surplus to export.
• Made important steps forward to improve the living
  conditions in rural and urban areas.
• Improved the Agricultural Aggregate Output, which
  reached 158% in 2003 in comparison with 1992.

                                                  4
• Enhanced contribution of agricultural sector in
  Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that reached 25-
  27%.
• Increased export of raw and processed agricultural
  production, that reached 16-22% of total export.
• Developed agricultural infrastructure and services
  in rural areas.




                                                    5
B.   Negative Impacts

• Water shortage.
• Steppe deterioration and desertification in Albadia.
• Holdings fragmentation.
• Legislations and laws do not conform with
  agricultural production development.
• Marketing, processing, export, and production
  activities do not conform with agricultural production
  development.

                                                     6
                 Second:
  Agriculture Development Determinants
              And Challenges
1. International economic changes.
2. Fragmentation of institutions responsible for
   agricultural sector.
3. Foreign products competition resulting from the
   huge subsidies in other countries.
4. High population growth and lack of agricultural
   employment opportunities.
5. Agricultural holdings crumbling.
6. Limited availability of agricultural natural resources
7. Lack of financial resources.                       7
                  Third:
     General Objectives Of Agricultural
              Development

• Increasing the agricultural growth rate and
  improving agricultural producers income;
• Optimizing use and conservation of natural
  resources;
• Meeting the domestic demand for main food
  staples;
• Providing domestic industries with good quality of
  agricultural products;
                                                       8
• Developing rural infrastructures, services, and
  domestic industries, as well as generating job
  opportunities;
• Attracting and enhancing investments in agriculture;
• Developing and modernizing agricultural
  regulations;
• Supporting and improving agricultural processing
  and marketing to benefit from the value added.



                                                     9
                   Fourth:
     Policies and Strategies Required to
           Achieve the Objectives

A. Policies:
•   Priority should be given to agricultural
    development process and investments;

•   Adopting a gradual approach in the process of
    adaptation to avoid negative impacts on
    production;

                                                    10
• Modernizing agricultural activities and improving
  productivity by enhancing research, extension,
  training, education, and modern technologies;
• Modifying the rules and regulations in conformity
  with the new policy orientations;
• Promoting the establishment of marketing
  institutions and companies;
• Following a vertical development (intensification)
  for agricultural production, considering natural
  resources scarcity;
• Identifying the different roles for each sector in the
  agricultural development process;
                                                       11
• Reviewing credit policies;
• Defining pricing policies for specific products;
• Establishing specific unions and cooperatives for
  agricultural production branches;
• Applying appropriate procedures to control
  holdings fragmentation;
• Applying the Integrated Pest Management -IPM;
• Following agricultural rotations and using crops
  combination according to their comparative
  advantages.

                                                      12
B.    Execution Strategies

1. Utilization and maintenance of agricultural
   resources:

•    Land
•    Water
•    Natural pastures
•    Forestry


                                             13
2. Securing the required food staples (wheat,
   legumes, etc) for local consumption and
   food security

•   Animal production
•   Plant production




                                           14
3. Modernizing agricultural activities and
   improving productivity


•   Agricultural research
•   Agricultural extension
•   Training and education




                                             15
4. Supporting and improving agricultural
   processing and marketing
•   Marketing
•   Agricultural processing

5. Developing financial and credit systems
•   Develop the system of the Agricultural Cooperative
    Bank.
•   Grant credits to the agricultural sector
    proportionally with its contribution in the national
    economy.
•   Increase long & mid term credits.                  16
6. Providing primary agricultural inputs and
   improving their utilization and distribution

•   Providing them at appropriate prices, timing and
    quality;
•   Gradually reducing the control role of the public
    sector and allowing for all sectors’ participation
    and competition.




                                                     17
7. Adopting pricing policies as an instrument
   for environment conservation and
   resources sustainability

•   Continuation of the pricing policies for strategic
    crops;
•   Establishment of a special fund for strategic
    crops subsidy;
•   Distribution of agricultural inputs at market prices.



                                                         18
8. Applying subsidy policies to ensure
   compatibility with international procedures
•   Syrian subsidies patterns (indirect).
•   Forms of subsidies which conform with
    international agreements.
•   Forms of subsidies which do not conform with
    international agreements.
•   Acceptable forms of subsidies.
•   Applying the requested procedures in conformity
    with the international subsidization systems.
                                                   19
9.   Adopting structural adjustments to comply
     with the development requisites and apply
     the suggested agricultural policies

A. Restructuring
 MAAR and its General Establishments
 General Peasants Federation
 Agricultural Chambers Federation




                                            20
B. Establishing public bodies to supervise
   agricultural sector:

 Agricultural Supreme Committee
 Monitoring Body
 Qualitative Unions and Cooperatives

C. Modifying or issuing regulations:

   Organic farming - Export monitoring - Public body
   for export supervision - Special fund for subsidies -
   Al Badia protection - and Land consolidation.

                                                    21
Thank you



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