Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has issued a decree establishing a grain company to replace the state silos, mills and grain buyer (Hoboob), Reuters reports. The headquarters of the new General Organization for Trade, Storage and Grain Processing will be located in the northeastern city of Hasaka and will headed by the country’s internal trade minister. The company will be responsible for trade, storage and processing of grain to cover local consumption and export surplus.
The Syrian government has also raised the price it pays farmers for their wheat after the smallest crop in three decades in 2018. Syria will now give farmers 185,000 Syrian pounds ($359.22) per tonne, a nearly 5.7 percent increase from last year’s price, al-Watan newspaper cited the internal trade minister as saying after a cabinet session. Syria is expected to import around 1.5 million tonnes of mainly Russian wheat this year with local wheat procurement expected at around half a million tonnes. War and drought has cut the country’s production by around 30 percent.