Agricultural Risks and Risk Management of Different Farming Systems in Syria
Firas, Yassin (2011) Agricultural Risks and Risk Management of Different Farming Systems in Syria. [Tesi di dottorato] (Inedito)
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Syria is an agricultural developing country, characterized by semi-arid climate and high population growth rate, facing challenges related to mainly agriculture sector and food insecurity. The resolution of the latter is one of the Millennium Development Goal, which can be explicated by the goal to “eradicate extreme poverty and hunger”. Within such a framework the present thesis is devoted to study the food security situation in Syria and the peculiar factors affecting the income of the poor household. In specific, the work investigates food security situation and explores the agricultural risks by studying their main types, current strategies, public management policies and the future possible improvements for risk management. A variety of analytical approaches have been used since the main methodologies for carrying out the research depending essentially on quantitative as qualitative analyses. As preliminary analysis, secondary data were used to investigate the food security situation, while secondary data on farm semi-structured survey and an ad hoc Delphi method survey have been implemented to examine the agricultural risks and risk management strategies. The food security situation seems very similar to that of other Middle Eastern countries like Jordan and Lebanon. Food aggregate and per capita availability have an acceptable level which is also applied to food accessibility and supply stability. In contrast, food utilization exhibits low level compared to other countries, and lies under the world average in some cases e.g. for many vitamins intake. Therefore, The Government of Syria (GOS) should fill in the gap of food deficiencies both by developing the agricultural products and introducing reforms to the trade sector especially those related to importing/exporting food stuff. The agricultural risks in Syria are related mainly to production, price and policy change risks. The mentioned risks are quite different both in type and intensity according to the different zones (Farming Systems). The yield risks result mostly from the increasing incidence of drought, frost, storm, flood and diseases, while price risks are related largely to the marketing constraints of the freely marketed crops (e.g. citrus, fruits and vegetables). Policy change risks (e.g. changes in macroeconomic policies or input/output prices) affect mainly the strategic crops (cotton, wheat and sugar beet) that are marketed by the state. Finally, idiosyncratic risks (individual or personal) seem not very relevant, on average, at the national level. Agricultural risk management policies and strategies are also different according to Syrian zones. In general, diversification of income sources and cultivated crops are the main strategies adopted by farmers, while adopting a risk sharing strategy like “agricultural insurance” is still unfavorable one. Finally, GOS institutions contribute to agricultural risk management by several means like the agricultural supporting policies including the agricultural disasters relief. However, much effort must be done by GOS to manage the agricultural risks including the establishment of agricultural insurance framework.
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