Record low wheat output expected in Syria as drought looms - WFP

by Reuters
Tuesday, 8 April 2014 09:15 GMT

A Syrian farmer holds out grains of wheat in a field in Assanamein area, south of Damascus, on August 20, 2009. REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri

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GENEVA, April 8 (Reuters) - Syrian wheat production is estimated at 1.7 mln to 2 mln metric tonnes, which would be a record low, amid a "looming drought" in the country's northwest breadbasket, the United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday.

"WFP is concerned about the impact of a looming drought hitting the northwest of the country - mainly Aleppo, Idlib, and Hama, with rainfall less than half of the long term average (since September) and potentially major impacts on the next cereal harvest," spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs told a briefing.

"A drought could put the lives of millions more people at risk", she said.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Angus MacSwan)