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Olive producers call for protection and settlement of entitlements


On the occasion of the World Olive Day which falls on November 26, the gathering of representative bodies of the oil sector in Lebanon, submitted to officials a series of demands to save the industry. Most prominent of these demands were the following: Legal prosecution of the owners of cement factories in Kura for destroying olive orchards, farmers livelihoods; end to subsidies for the export of olive oil which are being given exclusively to IDAL affiliated traders, and their redirection directly to olive growers; adoption of a more efficient mechanism for curbing imports of olives and olive oil through stricter border control; exclusion of olive oil and olives from all Arab and European free trade agreements, and finally, the introduction of tougher protection measures of the olive crops against harmful bacteria. The Gathering statement also demanded the resumption of payments to farmers who delivered their harvests to the Lebanese Army in 2013, and who still have not been paid despite repeated cabinet decisions. Furthermore, the statement called for the saking of all public department officials who are responsible for the presnt crisis affecting the sector, as well as for an end to all foreign interference in the olive sector. (Al Diyar, November 28, 2020)

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