policy forum was held on 12 December 2004. It investigated the role of
agriculture in rural-urban balance and emphasized the vital impact of agriculture on population distribution
between rural and urban areas, considering the level of
agriculture development as a key factor determining the rate of rural outmigration to urban areas.
The lecturer, Mr Jacques Vercueil, Senior
Project Adviser and former Director of the Agriculture and Economic Development Analysis Division
in FAO, showed that the role of agriculture in human well-being is not merely to produce certain commodities or provide
food security but also to contribute to conservation of natural resources,
environmental stability, rural-urban population balance, social cohesion, and preservation of cultural heritage.
An analysis of rural outmigration in a
cross-country perspective was conducted, stressing that the phenomenon is not only a spatial
movement, as it has a strong socioeconomic dimension, which involves transformation of skills
, attitudes, motivations, and behavioral patterns.
The forum aimed at contributing to a better
understanding of the rural-urban migration issue in Syria and to the development of appropriate policies.