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Meat traders appeal for government support 


The head of the Syndicate of Importers and Traders of Livestock in Lebanon, Joseph Kossaifi, underlined the need to support the sector, including frozen meats, recalling that it sustains the livelihoods of families of more than 50,000 workers in the sector and in the complementary transport, fodder, fertilizers and tanning industries. Kossaifi warned during a press conference on July 23, that the sector, which is one of the main sources of hard currency in the country, is faltering and should be urgently propped. While lamenting that almost half of the local slaughterhouses have closed, Kossaifi reminded that the sector is highly productive for domestic agriculture, industry, transport and health. Hence, supporting it should be a national priority, he concluded. Meanwhile, according to Al Akhbar, Qatar has announced the import of livestock worth USD 49 million from several countries, notably Syrian sheep via Lebanon during the Adha Eid occasion. The newspaper wrote wondering if exporting sheep threatens local food security, particularly that live cattle, milking cows, sheep and goats are part of the subsidized food basket. On the subject, Al Akhbar spoke to the minister of agriculture, Abbas Mortada, who stressed that exporting livestock does not jeopardize food security, but instead brings in hard currency, underlining the importance of cooperation with the GCC state. Similarly, the head of the Consumers Protection Department, Zuheir Berro, explained that exporting sheep to Qatar does not considerably disturb the size of domestic consumption, noting that the majority of the Lebanese cannot afford to buy lamb or mutton meat these days. (Al Akhbar, Al Diyar, July 23, 24, 2020)

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