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Apple growers to protest against government’s neglect


Following the deferral second installment of the agreed compensation for apple farmers, and in response to the continued disregard by the government of the agriculture sector and the resulting slump in harvest, the Lebanese Farmers Association announced a series of protest actions to be launched across Lebanon. This will kick off with a rally in Beqaa on Friday, September 8, where farmers will reportedly gather, around 11 am, at the main road between Nabi Uthman and Labweh, to ask the government to salvage this year’s apple produce and to remind it of the farmers unkempt demands. ( Meanwhile, appeals have increased recently to find external outlets for the marketing of Akkar apples. In this respect, Mishmish mayor, on behalf of the town’s apple growers, urged the three presidents and the ministers of economy and agriculture to pay due attention to this cultivation. This agriculture, he said, constitutes the basic livelihood for the families of local farmers and the cash needed to cover their children’s stationery and other school requirements, at a time when the costs of fertilizers and labor are soaring and the prices of high-quality fruit is plummeting, which could lead to a disaster. For his part, the minister of agriculture Ghazi Ze3aiter revealed that negotiations continue with Egyptian officials, stating that the Lebanese-Egyptian Joint Higher Committee has reached an agreement whereby Egypt will import Lebanese apples. The export mechanism, Ze3aiter said, will be announced in a week’s time. The minister was speaking during a meeting with a MP Khaled Zahraman who visited him on top of a delegation of representatives of the municipalities of Jurd al Qati’, Fneidik, Mishmish, Jooma and Akoora. (Al Mustaqbal, Al Diyar, An Nahar, September 1,5, 6, 2017)

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