(Photo Credit: Reuters)
On 31 January, Syria’s Minister of Agriculture, Hassan Qatna, disclosed to Al-Mayadeen, that Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria are set to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for agricultural cooperation soon.
Qatna reiterated that the quadruple Arab cooperation between the four states could potentially be a “nucleus” for expanding Arab collaboration with the international community; however, this will involve reviewing customs regulations and current legislation.
The MoU is expected to boost agricultural cooperation, both in plants and animals, with the aim of “supporting strategic projects and promoting common interests in a way that reflects positively on economic and social development in these countries.”
According to the MoU draft, this cooperation agreement will be concluded after several ministerial meetings held in Jordan and Lebanon to discuss livestock production.
This agreement will assist these Arab nations in countering the drastic impact of the global food crisis, which was exacerbated by western sanctions imposed on Russia over its operation in Ukraine last year and started following the COVID Pandemic in 2020.
According to a report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Syria’s 2022 wheat harvest has dropped by at least 75 percent from the production levels the country held before the US-backed war in 2011.
On 29 January, a convoy of three Iranian food trucks, loaded with flour and rice, were targeted in unidentified drone strikes on the Syrian-Iraqi border.
SOHR claimed that the strikes coincided with air patrols carried out by US coalition drones.
In a similar incident in November 2022, large explosions rocked the outskirts of the Al-Bukamal area following airstrikes near the Syrian-Iraqi border.
Israel’s chief of staff at the time, Aviv Kochavi, admitted during a press conference around a month later that Tel Aviv was behind the attack.
According to a World Food Programme (WFP) report released last year, 12 million Syrians are grappling with food insecurity, representing more than half the population, a 51 percent increase compared to 2019.