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Wheat production in Beqaa drops by 25% and the Ministry of the Economy is absent


As Safir newspaper published a report on the numerous challenges facing wheat growers in the Beqaa especially that this year's harvest is expected to total only between 35 to 40000 tons thus with a drop of 10000 tons compared to earlier years and that is mostly due to the scarcity of rain.  Farmer Khaled Shuman noted that the Ministry of Economy and Trade has yet to issue clear instructions on the mechanism for pricing and collecting harvests.  He added that delays in delivery will force hundreds of farmers to pay for double warehousing and transportation costs which is estimated at LBP40 per kilograms and thus eroding their profits.
Wheat growers noted that the Ministry of Economy and Trade is the sole responsible for this erosion of their profits due to these delays.  The municipal head in Terbol and one of the wheat farmer of the Beqaa, engineer Fadi Khury, demands that the Ministry sets up warehouses for stocking wheat harvest in the Beqaa adding that the initial decision was already taken to set them up in village of Terbol which donated land for that purpose. To be noted that the feasibility studies for this project was completed and all that is needed is to commission the work.  Al Khury told As Safir that setting up such warehouses will mean that wheat will be delivered directly from the fields to the warehouses thus making wheat growing profitable and effective.
The report adds that the scarcity in rain water has had a negative effect on this year harvest has resulted in low productivity and increasing cost of production which have all concurred to raise production cost to LBP100,000 per dunum due to the use of artificial irrigation.  Farmer Amr al Mayyas demanded though As Safir that compensations to wheat growers be approved since they were badly affected by scarce rainfalls which is considered to be a natural disaster.
Source: Al-Safir 11 July 2014

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