Food & Agriculture

Damascus has opened the tobacco sector to private investment, a move that puts an end to decades of state monopoly over the harvesting, production, and trading of tobacco. The revenues of tobacco and cigarette sales of the General Organisation for Tobacco stood at SYP 433 billion in 2023, with a net profit of SYP 19.5 billion.
Fish production has reached 13,000 tonnes this season, reaching pre-2011 levels. Syria's imports of fish and fishery products are expected to rise following the Central Bank of Syria's decision on February 18 to allow tourist establishments to import seafood and fishery items not available in the local market.
Recent official estimates show that the livestock sector in Syria, once a cornerstone of the agriculture sector and a key source of foreign currency, is caught in a steep decline, with sheep herds dropping by 41 percent between 2016 and 2022.
As captagon trade flourishes, the already dire security situation in Suweida governorate is reaching new lows and seeping into local businesses. Illustrating the power of local armed gangs, earlier this month, a group of armed men broke into the factory of Fresh Mountain Juice and looted the premises. Law enforcement is yet to make an act of presence while the armed men are still in control of the building, and shareholders are considering shutting down the factory.
Recent reports have sounded the alarm on the bleak water crisis that five million people in northeast Syria are facing. The roots of the water dilemma are entangled and protracted and the political instability in the northeast hinders efforts to design a comprehensive strategy to manage the dwindling water resources. 
Amid rising food insecurity levels and wheat shortages, the Syrian government has recently contracted with Russian suppliers for the import of 1.4 million tonnes of soft wheat, which is used to produce bread. The wheat harvest across the country has improved this year but still falls short of the local demand.
The Syrian government and the AANES expect the wheat harvest this year to be higher than in 2022, as local authorities compete to purchase the crop from farmers.
Over 100 days after the February 06 earthquake, the agricultural sector in Northwest Syria – where the vast majority of people depend on agriculture for their livelihoods – remains severely damaged, according to a new report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation. The sector has already suffered from conflict-related damages to infrastructure, irrigation, and inputs. 
Although Syria’s olive and olive oil industries were affected by the fallout of the 12-year conflict, the olive and olive oil industries appear to be making a steady recovery.