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Developing women’s involvement in the Dairy sector in Lebanon

17-9-2014

Al Mustaqbal newspaper published a report on the dairy sector in Lebanon within its weekly section featuring the United Nations and its work in Lebanon and the region.  The report describes two projects initiated after the July 2006 war and which aim at rehabilitating the dairy sector in Lebanon through the provision of special support to small farmers in the Beqaa, Hermel and Akkar and which are implemented by FAO in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and with funding from Lebanon Recovery Fund.

The report noted that the dairy sector is a key source of livelihoods for rural families in North Lebanon and the Beqaa which both account for 70% of milking cows in Lebanon. A FAO survey carried out in 2011 indicated that 70% of dairy farmers are poor and even destitute.  According to the newspaper report, production was harshly affected by the 2006 Israeli war and small dairy farmers had to discontinue their production whilst the number of milking cows fell drastically.  In the Beqaa for instance, the total number of milking cows dropped from 25000 to 18000 cows according to sources of the Ministry of Agriculture.

One of the two projects described in the report targeted 300 women heads of households as well as rural women cooperatives that were granted dairy processing equipments that can be used at home.  The other project also created 40 units to stock and to refrigerate dairy products which are accessible to a large number of villages.  Milk producers were also provided with other equipments to allow them to process, test and store dairy thus allowing farmers to produce economically and to strengthening their bargaining power while negotiating sales prices.

Source: Al-Mustaqbal 17 September 2014

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