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Women play a crucial role in agriculture despite the absence of government support


The Minister of Agriculture affirmed that support and protection are the only two means to ensure the development of rural areas through supporting small landholders who constitute 70 to 80% of farmers most of whom are women and who suffer from high production costs.  The Minister added that some 200,000 families directly depend on agriculture for their livelihoods whilst 40,000 others depend indirectly on this sector.
Hajj Hassan was speaking during a twelfth consultation meeting of ICARDA and LARI and which was held last week in Ryak under his auspices.  The general director of LARI, Dr. Michel Efram, outlined the progress of the joint projects between LARI and ICARDA and which aim at addressing the challenges related to food, poverty, rural development, agriculture, and the consequences of climate change, namely poor rainfalls, desertification, increased pests and diseases.
On a related matter, the Minister of Agriculture is organizing next Tuesday January 14th at the Ministry of Agriculture a press conference in collaboration with the General Manager of IDAL, to review the results of the AGRI PLUS project for 2013.  To be noted that the Cabinet has endorsed in 2011 the resumption of the work of AGRI PLUS and had set the objectives to be achieved namely in terms of increasing competitiveness of Lebanese agricultural products through improving production and marketing.  The Cabinet allocated for that purposes a budget of 50 billion pounds to that effect.  That decision was taken in reverse to a previous one taken by the preceding government which in effect aborted the work of the Export Plus programme.
Source: Al-Safir 7 January 2013

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