The impact of the Syrian conflict on wheat value chain. (English)
This study offers a holistic picture of the challenges and intervention strategies in the wheat value chain in Northern Syria, as well as identifying the relationship between value chain actors. Mixed qualitative and quantitative data collection methods were developed in the form of interviews and a survey. The study findings show that the decade-long conflict has had major negative impacts on the wheat value chain, creating major bottlenecks, resulting from multiple causes including mass internal displacement and abandonment or loss of productive land, destruction of the irrigation infrastructure aggravated by drought, inflationary impact on operation costs in the form of increased prices as well as decreased quality and availability of all inputs, damage to the wheat sector infrastructure such as silos and mills, and transport networks. As a highly centralised and subsidised sector pre-2011, from seed supply to crop purchase at fixed prices, to government mills and bakeries and subsidised bread, the entire wheat value chain infrastructure in the non-regime-controlled North of Syria is suffering from the loss of both financial and technical support. Although the North has seen the introduction of both short-term and longer-term interventions by humanitarian agencies, the Syrian Interim Government and local provincial authorities to substitute for past regime support, wheat production has fallen dramatically, and more sustainable solutions will be required to contribute to future food security.