UNDP set up farmers’ cooperative to help increase productivity.
200 Lebanese and Syrian farmers who live in Akkar region benefit from Green Houses cooperatives Nurseries
- More than 200 farmers have since then benefitted from its products and services. Its activities have also had a positive impact on the Syrian refugees working in the vegetable sector in Sahel Akkar.
Before this nursery was launched, work was very hard. We used to plant the seeds outside, but the results were not good. Since UNDP launched these greenhouses, work has become easier, the results we are getting are beautiful and we are able to replant the plants outside says Hassan Awad 25 years old –Local Farmer.
Hamdah a Syrian refugee farmer lady, who has been in Akkar for almost nine months fleeing the violence in Syria, says “Abou Elias, our boss, has really helped us. He picks us from where we live and drops us back there: no one asks us where we have been. We are very content with this project. We work for 5 hours daily and they don’t make us work overtime.”
God bless you. We want to thank the United Nations for helping us. We make 10,000 LBP per day here, and this is barely enough for bread for women who have a family of five or six.
UNDP and ILO prepared a local development plan for the Sahel Akkar region and organized local community development trainings for active municipal members and members of the civil society in the region.
Following the training, UNDP and ILO supported the creation of the Cooperative Association for the Development of the Vegetable Sector in Sahel Akkar in February 2012 that brought together the municipalities of Tal Meeyan, Al Massoudieh, Tal Abbas al Gharbi, Tal Abbas al Charki, Tal Bireh and Tal Hayat; the mokhtars of Hikr al Dahri, al Salmakiya, Al Sheikh Zennab and Al Hisah; Ibdah Association and some active farmers.
The Cooperative association aims to increase the interaction between the different communities and groups in Sahel Akkar and to develop of a common source of livelihood that benefits farmers in the area.
UNDP signed a MOU with the Cooperative association with the aim to empower its members and provide all the necessary equipment for the launching of its activities.
Accordingly, a multi-span greenhouse with vertical sidewalls was installed by UNDP in Tal Abbas al Gharbi to serve as a nursery for vegetable seedling production.
This is a very good example of how UNDP can support vulnerable people in these difficult circumstances. Farmers can bring here the seeds. The seeds are treated here and grown in a very clean healthy environment and when they get their seeds back, they get plants that are of a very high quality.They can then sell these plants at a better price and increase their production. Now obviously an increase of production means an increase of income, an increase in employment Says Luca Renda UNDP country director.
All the needed equipment to plant, harvest and produce seedlings of vegetables such as corn, Broccoli Tomato and others were also donated by UNDP to the Cooperative association in 2012 (tractor, rotary hiller, potato planter, haulm cutter, potato digger, soil blocker) as well as 400 bags of potting soil.
The Cooperative association started selling seedlings in October 2012 and providing its services (planting, harvesting...) to farmers in December 2012. More than 200 farmers have since then benefitted from its products and services. Its activities have also had a positive impact on the Syrian refugees working in the vegetable sector in Sahel Akkar.
It is worth it to mention that nearly one million refugees who have fled the neighboring war, 200,000 have settled in Akkar, doubling the population in the most deprived caza in Lebanon according to the poverty Growth and income distribution study (2009)
The agriculture sector constitutes a major source of income, where the percentage of workers in agriculture is estimated %25.
Cooperatives Nurseries employs both Syrian refugees and Lebanese farmers.
Started in 2011 and began in 2012 but not in anticipation of crisis. It is an Agricultural community – one of the main sources of income