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A project targeting rural women to encourage and protect medicinal and herbal plants in the Bekaa || Newspapers (Arabic)


The Centre for Environment and Development Research at the Beirut Arab University hosted, within the framework of its project to encourage and protect medicinal and herbal plants in the Bekaa which is implemented in collaboration with the Green Hand Association, two international experts from ACDI/VOCA-USAID David Wagner and Florence Wagner, in order to benefit from their expertise in drawing an action plan for the project in addition to a business plan as well as to the contribution to building the capacities of women and contributing to local development.

The project seeks to develop this agricultural sector in Lebanon and to increase the income of farmers as well as create new job opportunities in the Bekaa while including rural women in the process.  During their visits, the two experts assisted organizations and women groups in the Bekaa in improving social and economic development in the area though raising women’s awareness, and promoting their community and national participation.  By the end of the visit, the experts submitted to the Centre a comprehensive plan with details on the elements needed for its successful implementation.  The plan was based on a market study and on a review of available resources, legal frameworks and trade laws.

To be noted that overall the project involves planting and protecting 30 kinds of medicinal and herbal plants as well as studying the possibility of introducing alternative plants.  The project also seeks to develop protocols for sustainable agriculture of such plants in the Bekaa in collaboration with relevant stakeholders in addition to conducting applied research.  The project involves three stages and will extend over a surface area of 15000 hectares of land.  In a later stage, the Centre will collaborate with Green Hand Association in studying the composition and characteristics of these plants in collaboration with the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University.  This will involve a transfer of knowledge to the communities of the bekaa in order to assist in developing new small and medium enterprises which will contribute to local social and economic development. The project is managed by the Head of the Center Dr. Safaa Baydoun, and the agriculture expert at the university Dr. Fouad Saad as well as Zaher Radwan President of Green Hand Association.
Source: Al-Mustaqbal 22 February 2013

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