Lattakia, SANA – An integrated farm housing more than 20 tropical fruit varieties in the Syrian Coastal area sounds both astonishing and encouraging, taking into consideration that temperatures can drop as low as 2 °C in winter.
Farmer Ahmed Ghanem from Lattakia province briefed SANA reporter on his pioneering experience in growing tropical fruits, indicating that the whole idea started in the year 2000 as a result of intensive efforts, research and cooperation with other farmers inside Syria and abroad to introduce 130 Avocado varieties to Syria.
“Three Avocado types (Australian, Hass and Pinkerton) have been selected after grafting and observation processes for several years during which they have proven successful in the Syrian Coastal area in terms of frost resistance,” added Ghanem.
He pointed out that those varieties have good yield potential, especially the Hass avocado because it is early-ripening and can be harvested in Syria before it begins to mature in Europe, while the Australian avocado is the dominant variety worldwide and its harvest season extends from March to October.
Other fruit trees in the 1000-m2 orchard include Papayas, Dragon, Annona, Sapodilla, the Indian Hawthorn and zapota.
Ghanem indicated that he gets the seeds from fruits sent to him by his friends abroad and plants them in his own greenhouse, where he conducts different experiences to develop climate-smart seeds depending on organic fertilizers without the use of chemical ones.
There are 20 new fruit varieties still under research, said Ghanem, expressing readiness to provide assistance for those who are willing to work in this field as an additional source of income in rural areas, given that the annual revenue of such enterprise may reach SYP 1 million.