Damascus, SANA – Assistant director of agricultural marketing at the Agriculture Ministry Abdullah Arroum said that Syria exported more than 10,000 tons of cumin to over 40 countries in 2014.
Arroum told SANA that in 2011, Syria ranked first in the world in cumin exports, providing 25% of the world’s cumin exports, and being the highest in value among Syria’s agricultural exports at a value of SYP 5.6 billion.
He said that cumin production had jumped from around 400 kg per hectare in 2004 to around 607 kg in 2013, raising overall production from around 22,000 tons to around 29,000 depending on weather and rain, noting that this increase comes despite the reduced the overall area used for cumin production which dropped between 2004 and 2013 from around 61,000 hectares to around 48,000.
Arroum said Aleppo is one of the primary provinces in cumin production, producing around 69% of the spice in 2013, with Hasaka and Hama coming in second place.
He went on to note that the ministry is working to expand the cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants due to their high value in exportation, with cumin being very important among such crops as it doesn’t need irrigation.
Head of the trade department at the National Center for Agricultural Policies Mohammad Babili said that cumin is an important crop as it can be cultivated in dry areas and places where there’s limited rainfall, noting that local cumin consumption in 2012 was around 44% of production, leaving more than half of the crop for exportation.
He said that there’s promising potential for developing and improving cumin production and exportation, particularly since there’s very little competition in this field.