Lebanon Businessnews News
 

$330 million for agriculture
to yield 75 percent boost
Five-year plan to increase annual output to $3 billion
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The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) has a five-year plan to increase output to $3 billion, annually.

The general objective of the strategy is to develop the institutional capacities and increasing the Ministry’s preparedness in overcoming agricultural challenges.

The strategy aims to improve food safety and quality of locally produced and imported products through the formulation of a national food safety policy. It also seeks to increase productivity of local agricultural products, to develop the sustainable use of natural resources and to strengthen agricultural extension, education, agricultural research and laboratories. The plan would also develop the cooperative sector, mutual funds, and the ministry’s capacities.

Through the implementation of this strategy, the ministry aims to increase public expenditure on agriculture, by 2019. It also aims to increase the contribution of agriculture to the GDP by four to six percent yearly, and to boost the agricultural output to $3 billion, annually from the current rate of $2.3 billion. MoA intends to counter the decrease in the income of farmers and stabilize the decline of the rural population.

Investment requirements for implementing the strategy will reach a total of $330 million over five years, including MoA’s operational costs. Dany Lichaa El-Khoury, Agricultural Development Expert and Technical Assistant to Agricultural and Rural Development Program (ARDP) at the Ministry, said that funding a number of programs and projects identified under this strategy, requires increasing national budget allocations over the next five years, as well as additional resources from donors and resource partners. The ARDP program is funded by the European Union and aims to provide technical assistance to the Ministry to enhance the sector’s performance.

The strategy describes a framework for its implementation, including a committee formed by MoA to ensure proper follow-up and supervision. El-Khoury said that the Ministry is required to refer the strategy to the Cabinet and gain the latter’s approval for increasing MOA’s annual budgets.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Date Posted: Dec 17, 2014