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Flower and seedlings sector in crisis, farmers shift to vegetables


In its issue of today, Al Akhbar drew attention to the flower and seedlings industry which is crumbling as a result of the economic crisis in Lebanon, pointing out that the sector which has once gained a competitive edge in foreign markets is now going downhill. Al Akhbar spoke to Elias Mansour, head of the flower sector at the Lebanese Farmers Association, who pointed to a decline to 3% - 4% in the number of flower growers who once represented 10% to 15% of the total number of farmers in the country before the economic and financial collapse. Many of them have switched to planting vegetables, namely tomatoes, cucumbers and eggplants, due to their high demand. In turn, Joseph Abu Zeid, former head of the flower and seedlings sector, estimated the number of people working in the sector at nearly 15,000 households. Other participants in the sector grieved that the festive Christmas and holiday season has not yet begun, pointing to a shy number of customers and meager sales. The weddings season which used to be promising is now hitting the skids, for newly-wed couples opted to cut expenses, putting to good use the coronavirus enforced lockdown. Prosperous people are now more discerning about how they spend their money and tend to become super savers, Al Akhbar wrote. (Al Akhbar, December 19, 2020)

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