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The authors and editors would like to express gratitude for the generous support received from many individuals whose contribution made the publication of this book possible.

Special thanks are due to Franco Viciani, Senior Project Advisor of the Project GCP/SYR/006/ITA-Phase II, who promoted this publication; Michele De Benedictis, Emeritus Professor at University of Rome “La Sapienza”, who designed the road map for the elaboration of an agricultural development strategy for Syria and conceived most of the background studies on which this book draws; Giovanni Anania, professor at University of Calabria, Senior Project Advisor and Saad El Medani Ahmed, FAO Regional Office for the Near East (RNE), Cairo, Technical Support Officer of the Project, who provided technical supervision to the various stages of elaboration of the studies.

Fundamental has been the contribution of the National Consultants who collaborated with expertise and dedication in the preparation of the background Studies, namely[1]: Mohammed Khazma, Director, Agricultural Economics Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform (MAAR) (Taxation, Livestock); Yusouf Ismael, Export Committee, Ministry of Economics and Foreign Trade (MEFT) (Taxation); Ghassan Ghadri, Professor, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Aleppo (Livestock); Mohammed Dakkouri, Director, Livestock Production Department, MAAR; Ghassan Habach, Director of International Relations, MEFT (Trade); Hassan Katana, Director, Agricultural Affairs Department, MAAR (Strategic Crops, Citrus); Ghatfan Al Azm, Director, Storage and Marketing Department, General Establishment for Cereals Trade and Processing (Strategic Crops); Yousef Hussein Kasim, Transport Department, General Establishment for Cereals Trade and Processing (Strategic Crops); Mohammed Zein El Din, Director, Directorate for the Economic Sector, MAAR (Marketing and Processing); Barakat Chaheen, Director, Directorate for the Private Industrial and Handicrafts Sector, Ministry of Industry (Marketing and Processing); Noureddin Mona, Professor, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Aleppo (Land Tenure); Mustafa Darweesh, Professor, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Aleppo (Land Tenure); Dergham Fallouh, Advisor, MAAR (Land Tenure); Mohammed Darmoush, Director, State Properties Department, MAAR (Land Tenure); George Somi, Director, Department of Irrigation and Water Use, MAAR (Water); Munther Kustantine, Deputy Director of Maintenance and Exploitation at Ministry of Irrigation (Water); Nahi Shibani, Director, Planning Department, MAAR (Inputs, Strategy); Shahab Nasier, Director, Statistics Department, MAAR (Inputs); Wageeh El Moue’, Director, Citrus Board, MAAR (Citrus); Mohamed Karabeej, Director of Olives Bureau, MAAR (Olive Oil); Malek Abdeen, Deputy Director of Olives Bureau, MAAR (Olive Oil); Fayez Al Asfari, private oil miller (Olive Oil); Mustafa Dawwa, Director, Credit Department, Agricultural Cooperative Bank (Credit); Sae’ed Akel, Deputy Director, Credit Department, Agricutural Cooperative Bank (Credit); Haitham Haidar, Deputy Director, Planning Department, MAAR (Credit); Mohammed Ali Alzein, Deputy Director, Irrigation Department, MAAR (Environment); Abdullah Masri, Rangeland Specialist, private sector (Environment); Abed Alrazak Nokta, Soil Department, MAAR (Environment); Hamad Abido, Professor, Faculty of Agriculture, Damascus University (Environment); Mohammad Ali Khalaf, Deputy Director, Investment Office (Investment); Husam Murad, Professor, Faculty of Economics, Damascus University (Investment); and Zakarya Fadlieh, Professor Faculty of Agriculture, Tishreen University (Citrus).

The work has also involved participants in the Training Program delivered under the Project, who have in particular contributed to data collection, surveys, data elaboration, and other precious tasks:

Abdul Hadi Reffai, Abdul Hameed Madani, Abdul Rahman Nasmeh, Abdulla Saa’di, Abeer Munla Hassan, Afra Dughman, Ahmad Dmairieh, Akram Shhaideh, Almuhammad Melhim, Amal Naba’a, Baibars Abaza, Basel Al Bawwab, Bashar Nahas, Basima Atiya, Fayez Mansour, Ghada Masri, Ghassan Ghannoum, Ghassan Jbara, Ghassan Nassour, Ghusaina Khaddour, Haitham Al Ashkar, Haitham Shawwa, Hajar Baghasa, Jameel Helwani, Jihad Mukdad, Lina Soukkar, Majd Abdullah, Mayada Hammoud, Muna Hallak, Nabeel Kiwan, Nadia Toubeh, Nazhan Mousa, Rwaida Hasbani, Rweida Hasbani, Sabah Abu Kalam, Salaheddin Saker, Saleh Toman, Samar Abbas, Samar Dmairieh, Sameer Mulki, Samer Braigleh, Samir Jrad, Samira Zeghbi, Tarek Jawabra, Usama El Saa’di, Waficca Hosni, Walid Hamzeh, Widad Shehadeh, Yihia Dehesh, Zainab Abu Ras.

The entire undertaking would not have been possible without the keen and professional support brought to the preparation of the Studies and to the final elaboration of this Volume by the Syrian and FAO staff in charge of managing and supporting the Project. In this regard, special thanks are due to Atieh El Hindi, Director of the National Agricultural Policy Center (NAPC), whose professionalism and dedication proved invaluable assets in carrying out the studies; to the support staff of the NAPC Maha Horani and Najila' Moughra, secretaries, and Mo'taz Homsi, librarian; as well as to the staff of Project Emad El Hawary, Chief Technical Advisor; Ciro Fiorillo, Agricultural Economist; Maisa Al Taji and Shahed Alloush, secretaries; Raja Al Awwa, administrative assistant; Asma Matar, Rola Diab, and Lina Bito, assistant translators; Nasouh Keilani computer technician; and Mazen Boukai and Suheil Mayla', drivers.

Many other FAO professionals and consultants contributed in various ways to the studies. A non-exhaustive list should at least include Dyaa Abdou, Chief, Policy Assistance Branch, FAO-RNE, Cairo; Zohair Abdalla, Senior Agricultural Marketing and Rural Finance Officer, FAO-RNEG; Fabrizio de Filippis, Professor, University of Rome 3, and FAO Consultant; Pal Hajas, Senior Country Project Officer, FAO-RNER; Otte Joachim, Senior Officer (Veterinary Services), Animal Production and Health Division, FAO-Rome; Mustafa Nosseir, Country Project Officer, FAO-RNER; and Salim Zahaoueh, National Program Officer, FAO-Syria.

Special thanks are also due to Maria Grazia Quieti, Senior Agricultural Policy Support Officer, Policy Assistance Division, FAO-Rome, and Mahmoud Taher, FAO Representative in Syria, whose enthusiastic and dedicated guidance has highly facilitated the realization of this publication.

Last but not least, deep gratitude is expressed to the hundreds of Syrian officials, experts, practitioners and managers from the MAAR, and other public and private institutions which it would be impossible to mention individually. They contributed in a number of interviews and workshops irreplaceable information and understanding to the analyses by the consultants in charge of the studies.

[1] The functions of the officials are those at the time they contributed to the background studies, whose respective subject is abbreviated after each name.

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