Media Details

Closure Of Value Chain Development priority Interventions related to GLOBALGAP and good agriculture practices for potato and leafy greens project

21 MAR 2017

Funded by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and in collaboration with the Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute (LARI)

Safadi Foundation concludes a project to improve priority interventions

In order to develop the potato and leafy greens varieties

Chef Antoine talks about their benefits and provides recipes

Safadi Foundation has concluded the project “Support Value Chain Development Priority Interventions Related to GLOBALGAP and Good Agriculture Practices for Potato and Leafy Greens”, in collaboration with the Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute, in Al-Abda. This project was funded by the International Labor Organization (ILO) to provide extension services and technical training to more than 60 farmers in Akkar. It also aimed to introduce new agricultural varieties suitable for local and European markets, and to train on good agricultural practices.

Chief Technical Advisor of the ILO Regional Office for Arab States, Mrs. Annabella Skof, attended the ceremony along with Department Director, Mr. Michel Issa Khoury, representing the Director General of the Agricultural Scientific Research Department, in Al-Abda, Mr. Michel Afram. Mayors, representatives of cooperating associations and cooperatives, Safadi Foundation Director Mrs. Rana Mawlawi, Chef Antoine el-Hajj, as well as a group of farmers benefiting from the project also attended the ceremony, which was held at the Safadi Agricultural Center in Deir Dalloum-Akkar.

After the Lebanese National Anthem and the presentation delivered by the team’s spokesman, Engineer Emile el-Asmar, about the stages the project went through from its beginning until its conclusion, Mrs. Skof noted that “this project established the initiative of the International Labor Organization, which have started two and a half years ago with the funding of the Labor Organization and with the support of the Italian Development Cooperation. It aimed to help host-communities to resist the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon”. She also pointed out that “it was only the beginning, and there was still more to achieve specifically in the access to markets; there must be a diversity whether in product categories or in opening the way to new markets”. She expressed that “the foundation was striving further collaboration with partners in order to achieve the objectives”. Mrs. Skof concluded by thanking “all those who have contributed in the success of the project, especially the Safadi Foundation team, the participating cooperatives and the Agricultural Research Institute for their commitment and cooperation”, and by wishing “the continuity and synergy of the efforts, to export potato and leafy greens from Akkar to the local and European markets”.

Khoury affirmed that “the Lebanese farmer was capable of producing agricultural commodities within the global specifications and conditions”, stressing on the role the Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute played, from collecting soil and water samples, to preparing a fertilization program for each beneficiary farmer and achieving field visits, in addition to installing air monitoring stations sending warning messages in order to prevent certain diseases”. He also announced about “testing stone diseases in the Institute’s laboratories, in Tel-Amara, as well as testing the chemical residues of agricultural pesticides in the potato harvest in the laboratories of the Ministry of Agriculture, and registering the farmers in the Ministry as exporters”.

As for Mawlawi, she mentioned that “this project has succeeded in training more than 60 farmers on good agricultural practices, and on improving the quality of the agricultural product respecting the international standards, the consumer and the environment all at the same time”. She added that “the project contributed in introducing new varieties that are suitable for the local and European markets for both potato and leafy greens”. Moreover, as Mawlawi indicated that “this project was part of the maintenance of the future of the economic and food security, through supporting and developing agricultural activity in rural areas”, she promised to “complete what has been achieved by further steps, particularly seeking to register beneficiaries in the Ministry of Agriculture as potential exporters”.

Chef Antoine el-Hajj presented a detailed explanation on the benefits of leek, kale, red lettuce and iceberg to human health, and on the delicious flavour they add to the meals, some of which he prepared in front of the audience.

The event ended with a lunch composed of leafy greens and potato meals, all prepared by Chef Antoine.