“Frost damage” | Large amounts of crops damaged in north-western Idlib
Gross losses inflict the farmers in Idlib countryside, as many kinds of their crops have been affected by the frost waves during the recent winter, especially since the losses of some farmers reached 90% of their harvest, particularly in farmlands in Sahl Al-Ghab area in the western countryside of Idlib.
Talking to SOHR about this issue, an agronomist asserted on the fact that the effect of the frost waves on agricultural crops was disastrous saying “tomatoes, beans, cucumbers and courgettes were the crops affected most by the frost waves, and some farmers already lost all of their crops, as some of these farmers had sowed over 30 dunams. In such cases, the farmers are forced to re-cultivate their land or plant another kind of crops. The major reason behind this damage was the fact that frost waves struck when the plants reached fruition stage, hindering the growing of the plant, and in this case, the farmers have nothing to do with the crops. The frost’s effect on other kinds, including nigella sativa and broad beans, was relatively lighter, as the growing of these plants stopped only during the period of the frost wave. Some trees were also affected by the frost such as nut trees.”
In a testimony to SOHR, a farmer known by his initials as A.R. from Sheikh Youssef village in the western countryside of Idlib talked about his losses and the damage of his crops due to the frost waves: “I planted 30 dunams of tomatoes, as I used to do so every year. Such kinds of plant need a special treatment and care until it grows. The percentage of damage was disastrous, as the frost has damaged over 25 dunams of the planted space. I depend on the income of the crops to live, as it is the case for many farmers. The planting of a dunam of tomatoes costs more than 150 USD, including the prices of seeds, pesticide, fertilizers, cultivation and the labourers’ wages. I hoped if I got a large profit this year, but the frost damage has left nothing.”
Another farmer known as M.H. from Armanaz town in the western countryside of Idlib, shared his experience with SOHR. The man said, “my losses this year reached an estimated 4,000 USD, the cost of planting over 28 dunams of cucumbers in plastic greenhouses. The crops planted in greenhouses are sold at high prices in markets. The organizations did not provide any help to the farmers or offer even little compensation. This season, farmers in the western countryside of Idlib have lost thousands of US dollars.”