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Closing of Mada livelihood project targeting Akkar small-scale farmers

18-4-2017

The minister of agriculture, Ghazi Z3ayter, represented by the head of the Harar Agricultural Center, Taha Mustafa, sponsored last Thursday a closing ceremony for the project known as “Improved Livelihoods for Small-Scale Farmers in Akkar”. The initiative, funded by the EU and implemented by Mada Association, was closed with a round table on the challenges facing farmers in North Lebanon. On the occasion, Mustafa stressed that the agriculture sector which largely contributes to the living and economic cycle of the area shall be in the good hands of the ministry, but with collaborative efforts of parties concerned. It should be noted, that the above project has been completed in the Akkar towns of Mishmish, Fneidik and Akkar al Atika to improve the living standards of small farmers through capacity building and technical training on agricultural know-how and water management in irrigation, as well as, on the enhancement of the farmer- broker or buyer relationships in the framework of marketing of local production. To this end, the Mada association provided a number of extension lectures related to the following topics: proper agricultural practices, distribution of in-kind aid, machinery and tools, guidelines on land preparation, tilling and selection of appropriate types of agriculture, contribution to the purchase of new apple varieties, the basis of conservation agriculture and distribution of leftover or residual seeds, comprehensive pest control, principles of proper apple pruning, fertilization and soil testing. Mada has also successfully installed about 135 modern irrigation systems in various areas targeted by the project, in addition to organizing the “Akkar Day’ in the capital Beirut and in Halba to promote products of agricultural cooperatives. The Improved Livelihoods initiative included a workshop on available marketing prospects, besides an extensive course for some 17 farmers on proper pruning and grafting methods of fruit trees. (AL Mustaqbal, Al Diyar, April 14, 2017)

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