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How Climate Change and Failed Agricultural Policies Have Contributed to Conflict in Syria

By: 
Megan Perry

The government had been pursuing a policy of agricultural intensification and economic liberalisation based on the expansion of irrigated crops for export, such as wheat and cotton that were reliant on chemical fertilisers. The chemical inputs and monoculture cropping contributed to the degradation of Syria’s soils, while poor irrigation infrastructure led to salinisation, particularly in areas such as the Euphrates. Reliance on non-renewable resources such as chemical fertiliser and diesel makes agriculture vulnerable to price fluctuations on the global market.