Because of the war, the flower business in Syria is in danger of going out of business

In his greenhouse in an agricultural area in Idlib, Syria, Rateb Hosrom carefully examines the flowers of his carnations before deciding whether they are ready to be picked.

The flowers were colorful and always pleased her. But his work as a farmer was not as bright as those flowers.

“Flower farming was doing well before the war. After the war broke out, we began to face many difficulties. One of these obstacles is the unavailability of plastic films (plastic film) which we usually use as the main material for the roof of the greenhouse. We can’t get it anymore. Now we replace it with other materials,” he explained.

Hosrom had fled to Turkey before the war got worse. He then decided to return to Idlib and reorganize his flower business.

Abu Ahmad (center) and his employees pick carnations in his greenhouse, to sell to a flower shop in Idlib, northwestern Syria, February 21, 2021. (OMAR HAJ KADOUR / AFP)

Abu Ahmad (center) and his employees pick carnations in his greenhouse, to sell to a flower shop in Idlib, northwestern Syria, February 21, 2021. (OMAR HAJ KADOUR / AFP)

However, it is not easy. Like many other flower growers, apart from being difficult to get plastic film, he also faced many obstacles in importing the flower seeds he needed from Europe.

Because of the predicament, he was careful to use his supplies so they wouldn’t run out too soon.

He also had difficulty marketing his flowers because he could no longer distribute them to war-torn locations. The flower market is now limited to the city of Idlib.

“In the past, I used to export flowers to various provinces in Syria. Since the war broke out, it was difficult to do. We started to focus on the local market. But the demand in the local market is very low,” he explained.

One of Rateb Hosrom's employees, prepares carnations freshly picked from a greenhouse, for sale to florists in Syria's northwestern Idlib province, February 21, 2021. (OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP)

One of Rateb Hosrom’s employees, prepares carnations freshly picked from a greenhouse, for sale to florists in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, February 21, 2021. (OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP)

In Idlib, Hosrom delivered his colorful carnations to Morhaf Mordia, a florist in the city. Mordia said that although his business was shrinking, he refused to close his business.

“Flowers are a sign of peace and security in this city. Of course, people buy flowers only at happy times like weddings, birthday parties, or even when they visit patients. Someone who works with flowers always feels happy and relaxed.” [ab/uh]

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