Syria’s Minister of Agriculture joins ICARDA/FAO field day

Published Date
June 21, 2021
Published by
ICARDA Communication Team
Syria Field Day Minister Aleppo
Syria Field Day Minister Aleppo

Aleppo, May 23

Syria’s Minister of Agriculture Eng. M. Hasan KATANA joined ICARDA, FAO, and local farmers to take part in a field day showcasing the ICARDA/FAO seed multiplication project, for nationally released Wheat varieties, as well as demonstrations of the ICARDA raised bed machine, adopted for the first time in Syria.


In partnership with FAO, ICARDA’s seed multiplication project is implemented in cooperation with the national institutions and the chambers of agriculture in Syria to support smallholder farmers, by disseminating quality seeds and technologies, and training farmers on innovative practices. Getting a country’s food systems back on track is fundamental to the recovery of fragile states and countries like Syria after a crisis.  


ICARDA’s improved climate smart crop varieties enable farmers to produce high-yielding seeds of staple crops such as wheat, barley, chickpea, and lentils, increasing farmers’ income and household nutrition. To make sure the improved varieties fulfil their promise, ICARDA also integrate supporting services into its innovation packages. Trainings on best practices such as more efficient use of water, different farming approaches, and better seed multiplication, are carried out alongside efforts to improve market linkages so farmers can access markets and obtain better prices. 


The field day in the village of Tal Aran in Al-Sefira district, Aleppo, included a demonstration of ICARDA’s raised-bed machine that increases the efficiency of irrigation water, reduces the amount of seeds needed, and increases crop-productivity. The machine is widely adopted in Egypt and introduced for the first time in Syria. Dr. Majd Jamal, Head of Government Liaison at ICARDA demonstrated to the “Agricultural Media” TV channel how the machine works and its impact on the field level.


Raised-bed machine


“The seed technology and other practices that we have learned through this project help farmers like me produce good numbers of high-quality wheat seeds. The raised bed machine then reduces costs and required labor, and results in higher yields.” – Mr. Jouma Al-Abdo, Aleppo farmer participating at the field day.


Dr Majd also announced developments on the government funded renovation of ICARDA’s Tel Hadiya station, the original site of the ICARDA Genebank and CDU units damaged during the recent conflict. The next stage of renovations will be the cold rooms of the Genebank itself, enabling ICARDA to ramp up work in the country towards food security and better livelihoods.



Also joining H.E. Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform Eng. Mohamad Hasan Katana, was Mr. Husain Diab, Governor of Aleppo, Mr. Mike Robinson, FAO Representative in Syria, Agriculture Deputy Minister Dr. Louai Aslan , General Directors of the General Organization for Seed Multiplication (GOSM), General Commission for Scientific Agricultural Research (GCSAR), several key Directors in the ministry,  farmers from Tal Aran and Farmers representatives from Homs and Deir Al-zour.


Majd Jamal Head of Government Liaison