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Agricultural bodies demand the renewal of export support plan

16-5-2017

Agricultural organisations issued a joint appeal to the Cabinet demanding the return to the maritime agricultural and industrial export support plan which expired on March 31st. Earlier on March 15th, the Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL), submitted a proposal for a one-year renewal of the sea bridge program through allocating a sum of LBP 21 billion (USD 14 million). The circumstances that prompted the initiation of said program, IDAL explained, remained unchanged as land border crossings are still closed. The appeal was made during a conference on Saturday attended by deputy head of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Zahleh and Beqaa, Mounir Tini, head of Owners of Refrigerated Trucks, Omar Ali, head of Exporters of Vegetables and Fruits, Naim Khalil, head of the Association of Beqaa Farmers, Ibrahim Tarshishi and head of Truck Owners, Shafik Kasis. Tini grieved the government’s overall disregard of the agricultural sector. He pressed the need for the council of ministers’ approval to restore the support that has been suspended since last March, rather than bringing on an unwanted closure of roads by discontented farmers and producers. Ali, for his part, pointed out that as agricultural seasons are near, “we give the authorities a 10 day ultimatum to okay the subsidy plan, after which we shall take to the streets on Tuesday, May 23,” he warned. (An Nahar, Al Diyar, Al Mustaqbal, May 14 and 15, 2017)
 

Previous related news: 

Only 1% of Lebanese government budget allocated to agriculture
Extension of subsidies to maritime export until March 2017 following the decline of Lebanese exports
First year results of M.LEB below expectations
Criticisms of export program and industrialists calls for further measures

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