Syria Economy in the 1950’s

By | December 17, 2021

The Syrian republic is administratively divided into 9 provinces which add up an area (including inland waters) of 184,568 km 2, in which the population is distributed as indicated in the table. The demographic growth after the Second World War (3,750,000 residents in 1948) was remarkable: and the strong percentage of individuals under the age of 20 is proof of this.

Agriculture and farming. – Hand in hand with the demographic development, the country has experienced a notable economic increase, based primarily on the growth of irrigated areas and on the enhancement of valuable crops. Agriculture remains the main resource of the country and it is primarily the care of the government, which promoted a radical agrarian reform in September 1958, which provides for the unbundling of all properties exceeding 80 ha of irrigated land and 300 ha of non-irrigated land. The reform, begun during the period of union of the Syria with Egypt (see below), should be fully implemented by 1963, but its fate may depend on the most recent political events. The redistribution of the land to the new owner-farmers was carried out on the basis of 8 or 30 ha per fund. For Syria business, please check cheeroutdoor.com.

The maximum of the new irrigation areas is that of Ḥims-Ḥamāh, which exploits the waters of Lake Qaṭṭīnah, near Ḥimṣ, and extends for 22,000 ha, while the construction of a dam on the Euphrates is planned, which should allow the irrigation of another 100,000 ha of land and the installation of a hydroelectric power station with a power of 45,000 kW. Another project concerns the construction of an artificial basin on f. Oronte, who will have to extend the benefit of irrigation to another 43,000 ha of land. In 1958, 595,000 ha of land were irrigated out of the 4,590,000 that make up the entire agricultural area of ​​the country. Of this, the largest extensions belong to wheat (1,495,000 ha and about 10 million q per year) and barley (813,000 ha and about 5 million q).

Among the shrubby crops we highlight the vine (2.4 million q of grapes in 1957, only partially vinified), the olive tree (380,000 q of olives and 70,000 q of oil in 1957) and apricot. A certain contraction, in recent years, has undergone citrus growing. Vegetable crops are also important (mainly onions, lentils, potatoes and broad beans); but industrial crops are much more important, among which, alongside sugar beet, tobacco and sesame, cotton has recently undergone notable development. This crop currently covers over 270,000 ha and produced 164,000 t of seeds and 97,000 t of fiber in 1958 (16,000 and 9,000 respectively in 1948). Much of the cotton production is destined for export.

The zootechnical patrimony (another notable resource of the country) in 1958 counted 5.5 million sheep, 1.8 million goats, 609,000 cattle, 239,000 donkeys, 81,000 mules, 101,000 horses and 79,000 camels.

Industries. – The mineral resources of Syria are scarce, despite the presence of lead, copper, antimony, chromium, nickel, phosphates and manganese. Oil exploration is underway in the Laodicea and Deir ez-Zōr regions. Among the industrial activities, textiles prevail, employing about 60,000 people. The cotton mill (Damascus and Aleppo) has 55,000 spindles and 6360 looms and produced 9347 t of yarns in 1958. The silk industry, however, still has 30,000 handlooms and is exercised by over 10,000 workers (sericulture is limited to the district of Laodicea). The wool industry, largely artisanal in nature, supplied 135,000 m of fabric in 1958. In constant development are the industries that transform oil seeds and in particular the oil mill (Ḥamāh and Laodicea) and soap factory (Damascus and Aleppo). The fruit and vegetable canning industry has three large factories; Damascus is home to the sugar industry (56,670 t in 1958). The manufacture of glass and cement on an industrial scale is recent, of which 12,600 and 408,000 tons respectively were produced in 1958. Industrial plants under construction in 1960 included an artificial silk factory, a kraft paper factory and a newsprint factory. The country is crossed by oil pipelines that convey oil from Iraq and Arab countries to the Mediterranean. A refinery, under construction at Hims, will process the oil piped from Iraq’s Kirkuk fields. one of kraft paper and one of newsprint. The country is crossed by oil pipelines that convey oil from Iraq and Arab countries to the Mediterranean. A refinery, under construction at Hims, will process the oil piped from Iraq’s Kirkuk fields. one of kraft paper and one of newsprint. The country is crossed by oil pipelines that convey oil from Iraq and Arab countries to the Mediterranean. A refinery, under construction near Hims, will process the oil piped from Iraq’s Kirkuk fields.

Communications. – The port of Laodicea has experienced a considerable expansion of its facilities in recent years. New piers have been built and large warehouses have sprung up to store grain for export. The western section of the country is crossed from N to S by the railway that connects the Turkish network to Jordan. Out of 15,674 km of roads, less than 5,000 are asphalted. The country’s main airport is in Damascus.

Syria Economy in the 1950's