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Ministerial visits to Syria’s to discuss agricultural relations will be approved by cabinet

11-2-2019

The minister of agriculture in the new cabinet, Hassan Lakkis, told Al Akhbar newspaper on February 8 that he spent the past few months reviewing the ministry’s files. These include for example, farmers’ demands and needs, preservation of livestock, types of fertilizers, pesticides, production and export, agrarian lands and foreign competition, up to foreign policy and its influence on the sector in general, particularly relations with Syria. On this point, Lakkis explained that the method adopted earlier which regulates visits of former ministers to Syria shall not continue, stressing that current ministers will visit Damascus only by an official mandate that involves the approval of the government and its head. Lakkis pointed out that the committee assigned drafting the ministerial statement has found a solution to the above impasse, proposing that Lebanon’s interest requires a constructive approach in dealing with neighboring Syria. The latter is the only gateway the government in light of the current expensive maritime export bridge. Lakkis also maintained that he will devote special efforts to small farmers and to the challenges they face, especially in marketing their produce. Meanwhile, the head of the Southern Farmers Alliance, Mohamad Husseini, toured on February 9 the citrus and banana orchards and green houses that were devastated by the strong winds which recently hit the coastal area extending from Qasimiya Plain to Naqoura in the south. He appealed to the Higher Relief Committee to quickly survey the losses on farmers, noting that nearly 70% of production was affected. ( Al Akhbar, Al Mustaqbal, February 9, 2019)

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