Lebanon Businessnews News

Agriculture sector
reaps bumper harvests
Field crops and poultry production surge
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Total field crop production increased 55 percent within four years, accounting for $227 million last year, according to Centre de Recherche et d'Etudes Agricole Libanais (CREAL).

Field crops mainly include cereals, potatoes, pulses, and fodder. Potatoes topped the list with a production value of $165 million, doubling within four years.

According to Riad Saadeh, Chairman of CREAL, this is due to a 40-percent increase in cultivated areas, reaching 15,000 hectares. Potatoes have a long shelf life and can be exported on longer trade routes by ship.

Raphael Debbane, Chairman of Debbane Group, said that a decrease in the production of Syrian potatoes in the last two years has helped local farmers market their crops in the Arab countries.

Despite the increase in field crop production, overall plant production has decreased by eight percent during the last four years, reaching one billion last year, while fluctuating on a yearly basis, according to export opportunities and climate parameters.

A decrease of 22 percent in olive production in four years has led Saadeh to call for more public assistance to enhance the quality and quantity of production. He said that the decrease is due to farmers still adopting traditional ways in the entire production chain.

Total animal production increased by 20 percent in four years, reaching $811 million last year. Around half that figure is related to poultry.

“This is one of the success stories of the sector,” Saadeh said. He also said that it is well managed by the private sector. Poultry companies such as Hawa Chicken, Tanmia, and Wilco have been opening new farms during the last few years.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
Date Posted: Jul 01, 2016
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