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Agriculture faces big losses because of present political crisis


The secretary general of the Syndicate of Importers and Exporters of Vegetables and Fruits, Ibrahim Tarshishi, Tarshishi said that after the opening of roads by protestors that were closed for 20 days since the start of the popular uprising, the agricultural conditions are now improving. Tarshishi who was speaking to Al Markaziya portal warned however that home-grown products have flooded local markets leading to a decline in prices by nearly 50% against their production cost. He further explained that the dumping of markets by domestic products was offset by a reduced consumption, partly for its availability, and also because the business of restaurants has plummeted below normal, in addition to a weakened consumer purchasing power. On the other hand, Tarshishi clarified that during the closure of roads, the prices of some varieties of veggies and fruits soared by almost 100% but this barely benefited farmers and small producers, except for traders and distributors of agricultural goods. Tarshishi also spoke about the crisis involving the scarcity of dollar and the resulting rise of two exchange markets. He added that farmers are selling products in Lebanese lira and paying their dues in US dollars as it is sold in the black market, and this includes fuel, fertilizers, seeds and land lease. In conclusion, Tarshishi warned that the current situation is inflicting between USD 200,000 and 500,000 in daily losses on the agriculture sector especially with the drastic decline in the export activity. (Al Diyar, November 7, 2019)

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