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A promising wheat season in the Beqaa despite some skepticism


The chief of Lebanese millers and wheat farmers in Beqaa, Najib Fares, described the current season in the Central and West Beqaa and Rashaya as promising, and called on wholesale merchants and large scale farmers to not shake the trust between farmers and the government. He warned of the presence of mafias who seek to soft sell a scheme that strikes a blow against the sector through requesting financial compensations for three years due to alleged damage that hit the harvest in 2015 with the intention to trade the cultivation with alternative crops. Fares maintained that the government continues to prop the wheat agriculture and to collect the supplies at profitable prices, noting the vitality of the sector to hundreds of Beqaa growers and to Lebanon’s demand for this basic crop. He reminded that the Beqaa produces annually about 45,000 tons of wheat grown over 80 thousand acres of land. Fares unveiled that one acre in the above regions produces between 500 and 600 kgs and yields acceptable profits. On the other hand, one wheat farmer, Ayman Sumaili lamented an unpredictable drop in hay prices, saying that one qantar (250 kgs) is currently sold at LBP 45,000 compared to LBP 75,000 last year, attributing this to a flow of imported hay and fodder from abroad, specifically from Turkey and Syria.  Meanwhile, Al Mustabal newspaper reported that crop growers have started preparing the wheat supplies for the government to collect, while the hay produce will be sold to cattle and sheep farmers in Lebanon due to the closure of ports of export to some Arab states and Jordan. (Mustaqbal, July 10, 2018)

Previous related news: 
Tobacco potato and wheat growers register heavy losses
Government’s actions in favour of apple wheat and barley farmers 
Local farmers still awaiting their entitlements


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