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MoUs to develop cooperative agriculture in Baalbaq/Hermel

12-4-2018

The director of the Social and Economic Development Fund, Haitham Omar, along with representatives of some 42 agricultural coops signed yesterday memorandums of understanding aimed at the development of agricultural production in the areas of Baalbaq-Hermel with funds from the EU. On the occasion held at the premises of the Chamber of Industry, Commerce and Agriculture in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, the director of Cooperatives at the Fund, Mohamad Arabi, outlined the evolution of the project intended to alleviate the economic and social pressure of Syrian displacement, reduce the cost of production in the agricultural sector, the first economic resource in the area, and improve the social conditions of farmers and host communities. Similarly, Gloria Abu Zeid, the director general of Cooperatives at the agriculture ministry, described cooperation with the EU as a key catalyst for Lebanon’s agriculture and for enhancing the living conditions of low-income people in the area. In addition, such cooperation provides jobs, promotes collective work and contributes to women empowerment, Abu Zeid maintained. EU representative in his turn stressed the significance of cooperation between the Union and its partners in supporting cooperatives for they have the potential to play a pivotal role in assisting local communities, generating employment, enhancing the role of women, developing the value chain and economic development, especially with the continuous pressure of the Syrian refugee crisis on host communities. (Al Mustaqbal, April 12, 2018)

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