Increasing productivity and enhancing community integration; are objectives the Syrian Arab Red Crescent seeks to achieve through the Olive Farmers Support project, that guarantees an abundant harvest, and improves the living situation of the farmers who depend on the olive crop as their main source of income in Swaida. The first phase of the project carried on for one month, during which the volunteers concluded the verification visits and choosing the final list of beneficiary farmers within Um Alzaytoun and Salakhed villages. We will get to know the phases of the project with uncle Abu Amjad
The project inputs
The Syrian Arab Red Crescent seeks to empower the olive farmers and improve their income level, as well as lessening the high costs of hiring agricultural machinery and tools. Mr. Saed received a grant that included: a backpack sprayer, 100 kg of balanced fertilizer, a saw, a pruning shear, 50 empty nylon bags, 4 farming bows, 2 plastic sheets, and a joint tiller with five farmers.
The inception of the idea
“I joined the induction sessions with the volunteers, and learned about the plan of action and implementation of the project ” said Mr. Saed -a 56 years old farmer from Salakhed village in rural Swaida, and one of 168 farmers who participated in the programme- telling us about his journey that started last year.
The project heralds promising seasons
The grant inputs helped uncle Saed improve his income level, as every donum of land produced 281 kg of olive, as well as a production of olive oil reached 28 tins which he sold 24 tins of them, that enabled him to achieve self-sufficiency, secure his needs of olive and olive oil, and pay off his debts, and he added: “I was able to secure my daughter’s wedding expenses, and buy 4 sheep as well” he laughed.
Improvement of the olive trees production
Throughout one year of periodic follow-up with the volunteers, and after using the soluble fertilizer (NPK), the production increased by 60%, while the costs decreased by 70% compared to previous years.
Uncle Saed continues to care for his olive trees using the methods he learned with the volunteers, who in turn are continuously following up with the farmers, with the support of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and in cooperation with the Directorate of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform and the Directorate of Planning and International Collaboration.