Supply and Installation of 102 Greenhouses in North Lebanon
Luca Renda, UNDP
Speech at closing ceremonial event of the
“Supply and Installation of 102 Greenhouses in North Lebanon”
Municipality of Halba -Sept. 4, 2013
Kaem Maqam of Akkar
Representative of the Ministry of the Agriculture
Presidents of the Unions of Municipalities and Municipalities
Mr. Manuel Duran, Deputy Head of mission – Spanish Embassy
Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very pleased, as we all are, to be at the closing ceremony for this project.
Today marks the end of a hugely successful initiative between the UNDP and the citizens of this region.
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.
In response to the agricultural needs identified through a socio-economic assessment carried out in 2008, UNDP launched an initiative to supply and install 102 greenhouses in North Lebanon. It focused on the six municipalities in this region; Halba, Muhammara, Bebnine, Bhannine, Mineh and Wadi El Jamous. This project aimed to support the recovery efforts post Nahr El Bared crisis and back farmers who constitute the backbone of this region’s economy.
Throughout the life of this project, the UNDP has worked hard to ensure that the quality of works undertaken is conforming to internationally set standards. This at times has meant extra efforts and coordination between the various stakeholders. However, after a long journey we have finally completed our mission and the greenhouses are all set.
I am glad to report that the 102 greenhouses installed are of very high durable quality and are expected to increase crop production and enhance quality while at the same time requiring fewer pesticides.
With the completion of the installation of 102 modern improved greenhouses, we sincerely hope that we have met your expectations and that this agricultural pilot project succeeded in supporting the livelihoods of farmers living in this region.
On behalf of the UNDP, I want to take this opportunity to assure you that we remain strongly committed to the successful implementation of this project, despite all technical complications and security threats.
As such, I would like to announce that we will be providing farmers with further support in the form of organic fertilizers and plastic hanging plant pulley hooks. These products will contribute to raising the productivity of the greenhouses and reducing production costs.
Before I finish, I would like to sincerely thank the six municipalities and their presidents, namely Halba, Muhammara, Bebnine, Bhannine, Mineh and Wadi El Jamous for their patience and continuous support to the project team;
In addition, I would like to express our special gratitude to the President of the Municipality of Halba, for receiving us in the municipality’s premises and for his efforts in making the project and this event successful;
To the municipality of Bebine, to its President and Vice President, for their contribution to the success of this project through their continuous efforts since the beginning of this year in coordinating with the project beneficiaries;
I will also take this opportunity to thank Daccache Agriculture and its team for their hard work during the past 8 month despite the difficult security situation and Mr. Antonios Youssef, the UNDP Agricultural Consultant, for his strong commitment to this project and his meticulous supervisory work;
Moreover, it would be remiss not to thank the Government of Spain for its support and belief in this project and the development of the region.
Finally, I would like to thank you, farmers who we have engaged with on this project, I thank you for your patience and hard work, for your daily contribution to the development of the greenhouse crop production sector and to the regional agricultural sector, and we look forward to continuing to work together.