DAMASCUS, Syria, April 12 (UPI) -- Syrian farmers ravaged by pervasive drought found some relief by installing drip-irrigation systems on their fields, the United Nations said.
The World Food Program in a midterm analysis released this year, said thousands of Syrians have fled the drought-wracked eastern parts of the country amid declining food stocks. The WFP report said more than 60,000 families have left the region since early 2009.
Ali Zein, who manages a drip-irrigation project in the Syrian village of Fraytan, said the new method improves the efficiency of irrigation techniques substantially.
Drip-irrigation employs a series of perforated pipes that reduces the amount of water lost to overflow. Farmers through the microfinanced program used 30 percent less water in 2010 than in the previous year, the United Nation's humanitarian news agency IRIN reports.
The amount of water available in regional wells fell by 60 percent during the past 25 years.
Yields, however, have increased by nearly 60 percent compared with 2009 using drip-irrigation.
"It's quite simple," said Zein. "Because there is more water farmers can, for example, replant twice in one year."