People wait to buy bread inside a government bakery in Damascus, Syria September 17, 2016. Picture taken September 17, 2016. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
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Syria's wheat harvest nearly halved to 1.3 million tons this year, the lowest in 27 years, as fighting and poor rainfall further degraded the farming sector and the nation's ability to feed itself.Before the civil war, now in its sixth year, Syria was a wheat exporter producing 4 million tons in a good year and able to export 1.5 million tons.For the coming 2016/17 planting season the government-run General Organization for Seeds Multiplication only managed to distribute 30,000 tons of wheat seed compared to 450,000 tons prior to the war.Of the country's total wheat production this year, only around 400,000 tons were procured by the government, a source at the General Organization for Cereal Processing and Trade (Hoboob), the state body responsible for wheat, said.The figure falls far short of the one to 1.5 million tons needed to provide bread to government-held areas of Syria.In areas controlled by rebel groups, excluding Daesh and the Kurdish YPG, 500,000 tons of wheat was produced before war erupted.
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