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After potato, apple crisis around the corner


After the crisis of the Egyptian potato dumping domestic markets, the chief of the Lebanese Farmers Association, Antoine Howayek, warned of the resurfacing of the apple crisis in the coming weeks, An Nahar reported. Howayek told the newspaper that apples are stacked in cold storage in many areas across Lebanon. Farmers, he said, are faced with difficulties in disposing of their annual produce, in addition to the daily smuggling of the fruits from neighboring Syria. Combined with the marketing hurdle, Lebanese apples this season did not boast quality specifications because of the drizzles and cold storms that hit Lebanon which resulted in the production of large amounts of the crop that cannot be sold, according to Howayek. The continued recklessness on part of the government is a crime, Howayek maintained, stressing that agriculture cannot recuperate outside tangible plans, including the set-up of the National Bank for Agricultural Development, and disaffiliating the agriculture chamber from the chamber of commerce. Meanwhile, the minister of agriculture, Hassan Lakis, is preparing to visit Syria to discuss the facilitation of the entry of made-in-Lebanon products into Syrian territory, An Nahar wrote. Discussions are expected to cover the high fees imposed on Lebanese trucks and how to ease the expedite the flow of Lebanese goods into Arab outlets, An Nahar said. (An Nahar, March 20, 2019)

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