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Challenges in supporting the rehabilitation of the dairy sector || Newspapers (Arabic)

11-01-2013

Al-Akhbar newspaper published a report about an initiative seeking to enhance and improve the dairy production sector in the Bekaa valley and Hermel-Akkar.  According to the report, this initiative was not able to meet its pre-set goals although no specific reasons were mentioned.  The heads of the cooperatives involved in this initiative blamed the implementing partner’s management whilst the latter blame the cooperatives. as well as the . Dr. Shazli Kayyouli, for his part noted that 15 village centers were provided with the necessary equipment to collect, cool and store dairy products.  Ten more centres will also be equipped thus reaching the total cooling capacity to 80 tons per day. These centers, according to Kayyouli, will be monitored and managed by agricultural cooperatives which will be established for this sole purpose and will b subsequently with refrigerators in addition to various weighting and pumping tools in addition to electrical generators and laboratories.
However, and according to Fedaa Sassine, a dairy farm owner in east of Zahle, this plan was never really implemented.  Sassine notes the cooperative of Terbol is not currently operational because it was not equipped as initially planned in view of “cost and financial reasons”.  Ismail Al-Khatib, also a dairy farm owner, calls on the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Hajj Hassan to save the dairy sector and re-activate the cooperative. Dr. Kayyouli explains for his part that out of 20 centers initially targeted by the project in the Bekaa valley, only 13 are operational according to the project’s plan, whilst the remainder lack the necessary equipment.  Kayyouli also added that conflict arose amongst cooperative members thus leading to a halt in the process.
It should be noted that Ministry of Agriculture launched this project two years ago with funding from Lebanese Recovery Fund set up after the Stockholm conference of donors.  The project was implemented by FAO in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture following an in-depth study which identified the need to support dairy production and upgrade this sector. According Al Akhbar newspaper, the ministry also rehabilitated 9 cisterns used to the transportation of milk.  Eight of these were handed to dairy production cooperatives to be utilized on special terms.
Finally, Wafa Dikaa, the head of the National Observatory of Rural Women, noted that women’s contribution in the dairy sector represents 63%  (c.f. NOWARA on women in agriculture: Official statistics do not reflect the real size of women’s participation, published on 12-12-2012)


Source: Al-Akhbar 11 January 2013

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