Khayrat Baladi ( My Country’s Bounties Project)
The key project ideas:
- Optimal investment of available land and agricultural resources through its management by SALTMED program (UK Center for Ecology & Hydrology).
- Increasing the amount of local production of agricultural crops at a lower cost.
- creation of "Khayrat Baladi" center to provide agricultural production free of charge to poor families, families without breadwinner and the elderly (contributing to the eradication of hunger and poverty).
- Providing job opportunities for the youth and women of these families and benefiting from their experiences.
- Achieve project sustainability.
The agricultural sector in Syria has suffered extensive damages and losses as a result of the war, the losses of this sector are very large and cannot be determined precisely, but it has been estimated at more than 16 billion USD in agricultural crops, livestock production and the destruction of agricultural assets until 2016 (according to the FAO report issued in 3 April 2017), and These losses reflected negatively on the local agricultural production significantly, which contributed to the gradual and rapid increase in the prices of vegetables, fruits and food products, coinciding with the decrease in the purchasing power of many Syrian families and the increasing number of poor families and families without a breadwinner, and here the importance of the agricultural sector and its close connection with the daily life of people, their physical health and their living situation is highlighted, and the decline in this sector shows its impact on the daily meals that are devoid of many nutrients and vitamins.
That is why " Khayrat Baladi " team works to achieve a sustainable integrated project by focusing on the first and second goals of the sustainable development goals (No Poverty and Zero Hunger) by taking advantage of the SALTMED program (field modeling program) through which we can optimally manage land cultivation, to increase agricultural production at a lower cost, to raise the purchasing power of families. Where, SALTMED contains a large pre-programmed database that allows us to choose the types of plants and trees, choose the type and quantity of fertilizer, choose the type of topsoil and subsurface soil, choose the irrigation system (drip irrigation, Sprinklers...), the quality of water used (pure water, rainwater...). It also takes groundwater into account and can also introduce all variables related to climate and others. It is a process of modelling agricultural reality very accurately that, allowing us to predict the amount of agricultural production approval of the studied model. In addition, it allows us to display graphic curves of water needed, the degree of soil moisture and salinity, nitrogen in it, change of soil fertility and its components and the ratio of the leaked and evaporated water along crop growth periods. As several different scenarios can be studied and Compare them and adopting the most appropriate scenario for optimal investment of land and remaining agricultural resources after the war and mitigate the waste of available resources (seeds, fertilizer, water,...). SALTMED is also a way to dispense with field experiments that are very expensive and require a lot of time to obtain results, and a way to know the effect of using poor quality agricultural inputs (e.g. irrigation with poor quality water) on the soil and its far-reaching impact on crop quantities. In addition, it allows us to display graphical curves for water requirements, soil moisture and salinity, nitrogen present in it, and fertility and soil components changed. Hence the start of our team by training the team members to use the SALTMED program and model for land planted with apple trees in Damascus countryside governorate and choosing a suitable scenario for it, was the agricultural production of the land studied achieved on the reality results close to the results of the SALTMED model ,and the applied scenario achieved increased production Agricultural by 20% and reduced amount of irrigation water by 14% .in addition, organizing irrigation times throughout the growth period of the agricultural crop The "Khayrat Baladi" team provides assistance and guidance to farmers of agricultural lands in managing their land cultivation, and also conducts training and educational workshops to raise awareness of the importance of this program in contributing to the advancement of the agricultural sector in our country. To achieve the main goal of the project, we offer the crops of the lands studied with the SALTMED program free of charge to poor families, families without a breadwinner and the elderly, by establishing a center that secures their food needs during the morning period, and in the evening period the center sells at reduced prices to families with Limited income to achieve the sustainability of the "Khayrat Baladi", by securing a financial resource that that guarantees covering the project costs and expanding it to reach the largest number of poor families. The project also provides the possibility of securing work opportunities in a center and in agricultural lands for the youth and women of the families benefiting from the project by employing their experiences in converting some food crops to other products (such as: apple cider vinegar and jam ...), which contributes to supporting them financially and raising their standard of living. Moving the agricultural sector forward contributes significantly to reducing the need for humanitarian assistance.