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Thyme growing in Lebanon, an alternative crop of high financial yield


Al Diyar newspaper featured the cultivation of thyme in Lebanon, while interviewing President of Green Hand association, Agricultural Engineer, Zaher Radwan, in Mount Lebanon town of Aley, members and President of Beekeepers Cooperative of Higher Matn Area, Engineer Saad Hilal and Abdel Nasser Masri, respectively. Radwan noted that thyme growing is considered a profitable alternative agriculture generating surplus revenues for land owners, adding that thyme yields considerable proceeds from the first year, unlike other trees such as pine trees that start paying off after 15 years from cultivation. He added: “One acre of land can accommodate some 4000 thyme seedlings with production reaching approximately 120 kgs in the first year, 270 kgs in the following year and 500 kgs in the third year while remaining at that level of production for the next seven consecutive years. He pointed out that thyme planting is a very good source of income for growers. “The wholesale price of one kilogram stands at LBP 15000 and may even reaches LBP 35000 without added blends, and as high as LBP 50000 LP with special added blends. Moreover, this crop which is known for its resistance to diseases, does not need much care or to be treated with pesticides. Hilal, on his part, explained that the cultivation of thyme started after that special vegetation for roaming bees became scarce and particularly after Lebanese thyme gained notoriety around the globe. “Data indicates that Lebanon exports nearly 60 tons of thyme each year,” Hilal said, adding, “that no matter how big the size of production there will always be sufficient demand for thyme. For his part, Masri concluded by saying: “Besides its medicinal and nutritional values, beekeepers consider the thyme crop as a valuable product because of it is edible for both man and bees.” (Al Diyar, 7 March 2015)

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