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Tobacco potato and wheat growers register heavy losses

21-5-2018

The agriculture minister Ghazi Zeiater met yesterday with a delegation of wheat farmers from West and Central Beqaa and from Baalbaq-Hermel, who demanded compensation for the losses resulting from rainfall scarcity. The minister for his part, while confirming the large losses, advised setting a national plan to support wheat cultivation in the different Lebanese regions, disclosing that he referred the subject for debate at the Council of Ministers. On the other hand, MP elect, Tarek Mer3abi, during a meeting on May 18 with Customs officials and representatives from the ministry of agriculture and agricultural committees, called for an immediate halt to the entry of Syrian potatoes smuggled into the country. He predicted heavy losses in the Akkar potato season due to the surplus of the imported crop in the markets, among other factors, and described the situation of farmers as ‘tragic’. Meanwhile, the president of the Tobacco Farmers Union in the South, Hassan Fakih, warned last week of a real disaster to the industry in a number of villages, particularly in Bint Jbeil, due to sudden climate change. Fakih pressed the need to control the green tobacco sickness which causes the drying of leaves, anticipating a smaller harvest. (Al Diyar, Al Mustaqbal, Al Akhbar, May 18, 20, 21, 2018)

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