Unlocking Lebanon’s Agriculture Potential
October 12, 2022
The Lebanese Business Leaders Association (RDCL) organized a round table entitled “Unlocking Lebanon’s Agriculture Potential” Beirut, October 12, 2022: RDCL organized, with the support of USAID’s TIF Project, a round table entitled “Unlocking Lebanon’s Agriculture Potential”, on October 11, 2022 at RDCL headquarters. This event is the third of many organized by RDCL in partnership with USAID’s TIF Project, aiming to improve the work environment and investments of the Lebanese private sector in various fields. This event, which tackles the agriculture issue in Lebanon, was preceded by two previous ones that have addressed the healthcare and tourism sectors issues. Mr. Nicolas Boukather, President of RDCL, started the event by making the opening remarks, where he explained in details the ASPIRE Project and its objectives. Mr. Boukather also stated that RDCL is working on various topics, including the energy and banking sectors, and many more, in order to reposition Lebanon on the international economic map. From her end, Mrs. Nadine El Khoury, member of the RDCL Agriculture GPA (Group for Proposition and Action), explained the mission of the group and its objectives, as well as the project that it has prepared. Furthermore, Mrs. El Khoury listed the main challenges that the agriculture sector is facing, such as the high cost of technologies, the limited knowledge of the human capital, and the low investments, in addition to the complete absence of governmental support. Moreover, she mentioned the strengths and the opportunities that should be taken into consideration to enforce the agriculture sector, such as Lebanon’s capacity to cultivate more than 90 agricultural species, its favorable climate, and its ability to attract specific investments for the agricultural sector. Mr. Raphael Debbane, member of the RDCL Agriculture GPA, made a detailed presentation explaining the necessary actions that Lebanon should take, in addition to the matters that should be solved in order to improve the Lebanese agriculture sector. Mr. Debbane underlined that the total amount of food commodities imported to Lebanon costs 2.5 billion dollars per year, whereas Lebanon can locally produce and cultivate the same commodities, and make considerable profits of approximately 1.7 billion dollars per year. After the presentations, Dr. Sami Nader, RDCL lead technical expert moderated the discussion that followed, during which the experts in agriculture shared their concerns and propositions. The round table was marked by the presence of many RDCL members, representatives from USAID and TIF Project, as well as key actors from the Lebanese sector, especially the agriculture sector, such as representatives from Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and a group of agricultural experts. The audience agreed on the necessity to organize and put in order the reformatory steps that should be done, in order to save the sector of agriculture, in addition to the necessity of educating the farmers by expanding their knowledge on the latest technologies in agriculture. Likewise, the audience agreed on the necessity to encourage the Lebanese youth to choose and work in the agricultural field.