From Field to Table: Enhancing Agricultural Practices in Lebanon 

In a significant step towards enhancing agricultural practices and empowering local farmers, Swisscontact, in collaboration with local partner IZRAA, recently organized an extensive agricultural training program in Lebanon. This initiative is a part of the broader agri-business hub approach under the TAFAWOQ project, aimed at fostering sustainable agricultural development and improving the livelihoods of Lebanese farmers. 

A Holistic Training Program

The training program, which saw the participation of 99 farmers, was designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of advanced agricultural techniques and practices. The key areas covered included: 

1. Good Agricultural Practices (GAP): Farmers were introduced to GAP, emphasizing sustainable and environmentally friendly farming methods that ensure food safety and quality. 

2. Grafting and Pruning: Participants learned advanced grafting and pruning techniques, essential for improving crop yields and maintaining healthy plants. 

3. Fertigation and Pest Management: The training included sessions on fertigation, a method of supplying dissolved fertilizers through irrigation systems, and effective pest management strategies to protect crops from harmful pests and diseases. 

4. Cheese Making and Food Preparation: To add value to their produce, farmers were trained in cheese making and various food preparation techniques, enabling them to diversify their products and increase their market appeal. 

Expanding the Agri-Business Hub

This training is part of a larger agri-business hub approach that Swisscontact is developing in Lebanon. The hub aims to provide a comprehensive suite of services and projects to support farmers and agribusinesses, including: 

- Developing a Dairy Processing Unit: This unit will enable farmers to process their produce locally, adding value and opening up new market opportunities. 

- Veterinary Services: Access to quality veterinary services ensures the health and productivity of livestock, which is crucial for the farmers' overall success. 

- "The Azolla Impact" Project: This innovative project focuses on replacing imported soybeans with locally grown Azolla, a sustainable and nutrient-rich alternative. By growing Azolla locally, farmers can reduce their dependency on expensive imports and improve their economic resilience. 

The agri-business hub and the recent training are integral components of the TAFAWOQ project, an initiative by Swisscontact aimed at fostering economic empowerment and sustainability in Lebanon.  

By equipping farmers with the knowledge and skills needed to adopt sustainable practices, diversify their products, and enhance their productivity, Swisscontact and IZRAA are paving the way for a more prosperous and resilient agricultural sector in Lebanon. 

Looking Ahead

Swisscontact, together with its partners, will continue to support Lebanese farmers through innovative projects and comprehensive training programs. The success of the recent training is a promising step towards achieving long-term agricultural sustainability and economic growth in the region. 

Thanks to the Leopold Bachmann Foundation and other donors for making this possible. This project is part of the Swisscontact Development Programme, co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA.