Bread has long been a staple to the Syrian diet, playing a pivotal role in their everyday meals and eating rituals.
During the pre-conflict era in Syria, facilities such as silos, mills and bakeries received support from the government by subsidizing flour and yeast for bread-making and fuel to power processing facilities and bakeries. With the conflict’s outbreak in 2011, the wheat-to-bread value chain systems have been severely disrupted following the absence of government subsidies.
This disruption created shortages of flour and bread, and was compounded by prolonged conflict and substantial damages inflicted on bakeries and other food processing facilities. In addition to a decline in wheat production, bakeries, mills and silos, have suffered greatly due to strained supply chains, severed access routes, and intentionally-exacted damage by armed actors.
Since 2012, the humanitarian community has supported the bread programs across Syria in areas outside the government’s control.
To help bread programs supported by humanitarian actors, iMMAP conducted two studies: one looks at how market actors such as producers, consumers and the market environment interact within the wheat-to-bread value chain, while the second study maps processing facilities such as bakeries, mills and silos.
The two studies, the Wheat-to-Bread Processing Facility Mapping and Need Assessment and the Wheat-to-Bread Value Chain Market System Mapping, covered the northwestern Syrian cities of Aleppo, Hama and Idleb.
Wheat-to-Bread Facility Mapping and Need Assessment
A couple of key results from this study include the spike in the price of wheat in Idleb from a pre-conflict cost of 12,000 SYP to a current cost of 120,000 SYP and the high percentage of privately-owned bakeries (81%).
A total of 470 bakery mapping surveys were conducted for this study. iMMAP designed three different facility mapping tools for silos, mills, and bakeries, trained the enumerators assigned to collect the data, developed an Excel database to create tables, charts and graphs, created maps, and drafted the report.
Wheat-to-Bread Value Chain Market System Mapping
One of the findings shows that only two silos are currently operational in northwest Syria and 25% of bakeries receive their flour from aid agencies.
A total of seven market actors were interviewed, nine focus group discussions with wheat farmers and ten focus group discussions with consumers were conducted for this study. iMMAP amassed data with the help of an identical research that acted as a crucial baseline for this particular report.