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Calls for halting imports of Egyptian potato


The minister of agriculture, Ghazi Z3aiter, received a phone call from the Egyptian ambassador to Beirut, Nazih Najari, to discuss the date of importation of Egyptian potato to Lebanon that was set for February 8 according to an agreement between the two countries; L’Orient Le Jour reported today citing NNA. The agreement signed in 1998 allows the exchange of specific agricultural goods during specific months of the year. Z3aiter informed Najari on the outcome of his meeting with a large delegation of potato growers in the Beqaa and Akkar regions who demanded a delay of the date of import of potato from Egypt until after February 15 in order to avoid dumping the domestic market with supplementary quantities and incurring additional losses on the Lebanese farmers. Currently, there are nearly 20,000 tons of this year's harvest waiting to be disposed of. After the Egyptian ambassador voiced his disapproval for the non-compliance on Lebanon’s part with the agreement, Z3aiter stressed the keenness of the Lebanese government, presidency and legislative to maintain the best relations with Egypt but at the same time to secure the interests of the Lebanese farmers. To recall, Z3aiter received on Sunday around 300 farmers from various Beqaa areas who threatened to discard and toss what remained of their produce on the roads if the Egyptian potatoes were allowed in before February 15 or before the stored supplies were completely marketed.  (Al Diyar, L’Orient Le Jour, February 5, 6, 2018)

Previous related news:
Crisis of agriculture to continue amidst government’s indifference
Crisis of marketing crops versus government’s disability
Efforts to grant entry to Jordan of Lebanese potato fail


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