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Minister calls for boosting agriculture, cutting imports


The minister of agriculture and culture, Abbas Mortada, stressed on May 16 the need to boost agriculture, saying the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Mortada was speaking during the opening of ‘The orchard of the mothers of fruit bearing trees’ project at the Kfradan Agricultural Station. “We shall not back down, but will cooperate as ministry, farmers, unions, municipalities, coops and social and economic groups to achieve the desired progress and reduce import rate,” the minister said. The rate of annual imports in Lebanon stands at USD 18 billion against USD 4 billion in exports, which does not build a vigorous economy, as he put it. The country could face an imminent food insecurity crisis, Mortada warned, which explains the motto of this current period, food security and food safety. “If we do not focus all our strategies in this direction, we will certainly reach food scarcity in the coming months,” and face a grave food shortage resulting from the economic and financial crisis and the continuous hike in the dollar. (Al Diyar, May 17, 2020)

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