Backyard poultry provides an alternative way to sustain food security and nutrition in Syria
Findings from the FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission conducted in May/June 2013 indicate that poultry production in Syria is estimated to have dropped by more than 50 percent compared with 2011. According to the Directorate of Animal Production of the Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform (MAAR) and the Union of Syrian Agriculture Chambers, less than 35 percent of the country’s poultry units were still operating by May 2013.
Furthermore, the quality of the Syrian diet and micro-nutrient intake was assessed as likely reduced. Many households were observed to be cutting back substantially on the consumption of fruits, meat, dairy products and eggs. Support to backyard poultry production is therefore a key priority for FAO in Syria to enhance household resilience. Thanks to funding from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Central Emergency Response Fund of the United Nations (CERF), FAO in Syria is assisting 3 000 vulnerable households in Rural Damascus and 1 600 in Homs to restart or sustain their backyard poultry production. This assistance is enabling families to produce eggs for home consumption and enhance their protein intake, while surplus production can be sold in the local market or bartered.