In order to achieve optimal investment of the available water resources in Syria, and to maintain their sustainability in light of the current climate changes, and the decrease in the water resource allocated for irrigation from its sources outside the country, the Higher Committee for the Transformation of Modern Irrigation approved a number of procedures and decisions necessary to facilitate and accelerate the steps of transformation to modern irrigation.
Regarding these procedures and facilities, the director of the national project for the transition to modern irrigation, Eng. Hani Hamada, explained to SANA reporter that during the meeting of the Supreme Committee for the Transition to Modern Irrigation headed by the Prime Minister, Eng. Hussein Arnous, on the ninth of this month, a new set of measures were taken that contribute to facilitating the granting of irrigation loans. Talking and supporting farmers, including accepting the guarantee of the General Farmers Union in the event that the beneficiary was unable to provide the real estate guarantee that was requested by the Agricultural Cooperative Bank.
Hamada pointed out that among these facilities is the granting of a new subsidized loan to former beneficiaries of the fund whose networks were damaged as a result of terrorism, and it was proven that they were duly damaged, as the fund bears 20 percent of the loan value. Development and promotion of exports without support from the fund.
And he continued: The commission of the Agricultural Cooperative Bank amounting to 1 percent of the value of the modern irrigation loan that was collected from the farmer when organizing the loan contract was also canceled, and the ceiling of loans for modern irrigation networks was opened so that it becomes according to the real need and according to the area, as the loan ceiling was for the association Al-Falahia was previously only 50 million pounds.
With regard to the alternative energy loan, Hamada indicated that the approval of granting a loan for the installation of an alternative energy system on wells was linked directly through the Agricultural Bank, or through the Renewable Energy Fund, using modern irrigation techniques and networks in the lands irrigated from these wells, by including A basic document from the modern irrigation fund branch in the governorate is among the basic documents for obtaining a loan.
Regarding the incentives that are offered to those who switch to modern irrigation, Eng. Hamada explained that they include accepting the guarantee of the General Federation of Farmers for those who do not have real estate proofs as a result of their real estate records being damaged, or that they are still in the name of the ancestors and there are no legal restrictions (limitation of inheritance) to date. In addition to reducing annual irrigation fees for farmers who use modern irrigation techniques from 50,000 Syrian pounds to 15,000 pounds per hectare annually.
Hamadeh pointed out that the current subsidy rate provided to farmers amounts to 40 percent of the value of the networks granted in installments, and 50 percent of the value of the network granted in cash.
The incentives also included, according to Hamada, raising the daily withdrawal ceiling for the companies producing modern irrigation equipment contracted with the Fund, in addition to providing industrial diesel at a price of 3000 Syrian pounds to the contracting companies and equipment producers according to the actual capacity of the facility.
Regarding the project plan for the current year, Eng. Hamada revealed that it includes 1,700 hectares distributed over the various governorates, in addition to 700 hectares in the southern Aleppo Plains area, which were included in the fund’s action plan, explaining that this area was divided into two phases, with an area of 3,000 hectares, the target area of which was divided into two phases. It is divided into two parts: the first is 1,600 hectares, whose implementation has been postponed until the return of the people, and the second section is 1,400 hectares, which in turn has been divided into two parts: 700 hectares to be implemented during the current year, and 700 hectares to be implemented next year 2024.
Hamada indicated that the total areas implemented by the project during the past year 2022 amounted to about 650 hectares, with a total amount of about nine billion Syrian pounds.
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