CIVIL war in Syria has decimated the Arab nation's agriculture sector.
According to a report by the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization, cereal, vegetable and fruit production have been halved, the chicken industry decimated and irrigation infrastructure damaged from nearly two years of war.
An FAO mission sent to Syria during the past week found the conflict between President Bashar Al-assad’s government forces and rebels has taken its toll on the country’s agricultural sector.
"The mission was struck by the plight of the Syrian people whose capacity to cope is dramatically eroded by 22 months of crisis," said Dominique Burgeon, director of the FAO’s Emergency and Rehabilitation Division, who participated in the mission.
"Destruction of infrastructure in all sectors is massive and it is clear that the longer the conflict will last, the longer it will take to rehabilitate it," Mr Burgeon said.
The mission found wheat and barley production fell to two million tonnes last year from its normal level of 4-4.5 million tonnes.
Only 45 per cent of farmers were able to harvest their cereal crops due to security issues and a lack of fuel for harvesting equipment.
Syrian farmers were also facing a shortage of fertiliser and quality seed to plant for this year's crop.
The FAO mission also found a 60 per cent drop in vegetable production in the key conflict area of Homs and a 40 per cent fall in olive oil production at Dara'a.
"Movement of livestock to grazing areas has not been possible and their survival is compromised by the lack of animal feed and veterinary drugs, the importation of which is hampered by samctions,'' the FAO report said.
"The production of poultry, a traditional source of cheap animal protein has also been severely hit with major farms destroyed in Homs, Hama and Idleb."
Mr Burgeon said Syrian farmers needed seed, fertiliser, animal feed, veterinary drugs, poultry and rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructure in the short term to help them overcome the difficulties they faced.