Green houses contribution allows farmers to pay their children’s tuition fees
“The unstable economic situation in the country forced me to go into farming. I wasn’t always a farmer but my husband’s retirement pension was not enough to support our family,” says Rima Obeid, a wife and mother of four living in the area of Halba – Akkar. “And now with the new greenhouse provided by UNDP, I have a chance to work in planting, sowing and spraying the seeds. These conservatories are able to bear over 1,000 seeds and the crops endure for more than a year.” Rima added that her children attend private schools and universities and that the contribution which was made to her family by UNDP has helped her pay her children’s tuitions and given her hope for a better future.
Akkar has for a long time been identified as one of Lebanon’s most deprived regions. Its remoteness from the country’s capital and the ongoing economic and political tensions surrounding it continue to have an effect on its development. As such, the region’s situation in terms of education, health, employment, and agriculture has and continues to suffer to date.
Based on socio-economic assessments and agricultural needs in North-Lebanon after the 2006 and 2007 conflicts, the rehabilitation of the greenhouse crop production sector was identified as a priority at the beginning of the project.
A media field visit to greenhouses the villages of Halba and Minieh in the region of Akkar was organized where the delegation was able to meet with the farmers and listen to their comments and feedback.
- Mohammad Hamad , 57 years and Adnan El Ali, 37 years, two farmers in Halba explained that there was almost an 80% difference realized between the old types of greenhouses and new advanced ones
Mohammad Hamad , 57 years and Adnan El Ali, 37 years, two farmers in Halba explained that there was almost an 80% difference realized between the old types of greenhouses and new advanced ones, “ these new conservatories are higher in length which allow better ventilation to the crops and more space to grow, since the old types of houses used more than 1 meter on each side and provided less space for the plants to develop, also the extra door at the entrance forbids harmful insects to enter and ruin the harvest.” They added, “ We are so thankful for the contribution provided by UNDP and the Spanish government. We were barely surviving before, but now we have a chance to live and enjoy our work.”
With technical support from Food and Agriculture organization (FAO), the most suitable greenhouse design for this initiative was selected for its durability and its capacity to increase both crop production and quality while using fewer pesticides. Based on an assessment, six municipalities in North Lebanon were identified as most vulnerable in this sector: Wadi El Jamous, Bebnine, Muhammara, Bhannine, Minieh and Halba.