The Ministry of Agriculture laid the cornerstone for the Lebanese Agricultural and Research Institute (LARI) station in Baakline on June 8.
Minister of Agriculture, Akram Chehayeb, said: “The new station in Baakline will serve farmers in this region, and support them to develop and protect their produce and the mountain forests.”
Michel Frem, Chairman of LARI, said: “Through such stations we are able to assist a wide array of farmers with how to deal with agricultural pests, as well as examining their produce, and testing the soil and water.” LARI is also conducting workshops for farmers.
Frem said that this Baakline station is part of the institution’s plan, and they have already established and equipped other stations in Hasbaya, Hermel, and Kleiat, to serve the farmers, and advise them about issues related to agriculture. These stations will be inaugurated in a few weeks, bringing the number of LARI stations to 12.
These stations are equipped with laboratories related to soil, water, olive oil, honey, and pines. They will also be equipped with stations for air monitoring and pest control. The station will help farmers to reduce their operational costs and increase their harvest.
This project is financed by the Ministry of Finance and LARI. About $500,000 was allocated for construction, and $300,000 for equipment, for each station. A staff of 20 employees was trained for each station including agricultural engineers, lab technician, and an administrator.