Frutas y HortalizasAgo. 1, 2016
Líbano: Productores de manzanas han perdido el 70% de sus cultivos
During the winter season, apple farmers in Lebanon lost 70 percent of their crops. Now, farmers are calling on the government to find sustainable solutions for the protection of apples, such as supporting exports.
“We need to find proper and sustainable solutions for this sector within four to six weeks to be able to benefit at least from the coming apple season,” said Asad al-Hashem, deputy mayor of Aqoura.
His remarks came at a meeting for farmers and mayors from 40 villages at ATCL in Kaslik to discuss challenges facing apple production.
Hashem called upon the government to work on finding export markets for Lebanese apples, supervising pesticides importers and setting up refrigerators in the areas where the crop is produced.
He also urged the government to convince international organizations to purchase this season’s apples from farmers to give them to refugees in Lebanon and Jordan.
Aqoura’s Mayor Mansour Wehbeh said that farmers need to have a national fund to protect them against natural disasters in addition to a strategy aimed at protecting apple production. “We want to find investors to invest in this sector by producing apple derivatives,” he said.
“We also call upon the government to send a team to investigate the damage caused by this year’s snow storms and compensate farmers for their great losses,” he added.
Wehbeh said that tens of thousands of Lebanese make their living out of this production.
The agriculture minister’s representative Sylvana Jerjes said the government is trying to help within its own capacity.
“We are guiding farmers in different areas on the proper use of pesticides in order to minimize the cost of production,” she said.
She emphasized the need to secure the borders to protect the local production.
She added that the Agriculture Ministry has already drafted a strategy for insuring the sector against natural disasters but it is awaiting the parliament’s approval.