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Official support needed for the cultivation of roses in Beqaa


In its issue of yesterday, Al Akhbar daily expanded on the promising rose farming in some Beqaa villages, like Mazraet Beit Salibi, Ksarnaba, Tamnin and Shmestar which has been kept for many years by private individual ventures in the absence of official support and protection. All family members, Al Akhbar wrote, partake in the harvesting ceremony from the early-morning hours. Mohamad Salibi from the town of Mazraet, said this cultivation involves the majority of town farmers, but lamented that, similar to many traditional crops, it has been left high and dry and its prices are manipulated by traders. Farmer Ali Shehadeh, for his part, said the lack of protection allows some merchants to import the rose fragrance and employ it in the distillation and manufacture of low quality rose water at prices that compete with the locally-produced pure rose water. He demanded that the government stop the import of concentrated liquid during the production season. In this respect, Al Akhbar highlighted an initiative launched by Beit Salibi rose growers to establish the ‘cooperative society for the manufacture of essential oils at Beit Salibi’, in an attempt to shift the sector from individual to collective and cooperative work. But this does not cancel out the required role on part of the government to transform this cultivation into an industry with economic potential, as farmers requested. (AL Akhbar, May 15, 2018)

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