Skip to comments.Syria Crisis Hurts Lebanese Farmers
Posted on 08/02/2012 3:18:38 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
The 17-month long conflict in Syria has harmed neighboring Lebanon's agriculture sector, which employs about 15 percent of the population.Â And with nearly 80 percent of Lebanon's exports passing through Syria, recent closings of the main border crossing to commercial traffic have Lebanon's farmers fearful that, if the conflict continues, their livelihoods will be devastated.
In the Bekaa Valley, a wide variety of fruits and vegetables are grown for domestic consumption and export to Jordan, Egypt and the Gulf countries.
But as the conflict in Syria intensifies, Antoine Howayek, the president of Lebanon's Farmers' Association, said farmers here are having trouble getting their produce to these markets over land.
"Last week they closed the border for five days; 270 trucks were unable to pass from Lebanon to Syria. When the situation was calm they tried to pass, but they were hit by gunfire and they had accidents," said Howayek.
Howayek said that for each day the main border crossing is closed, trucks carrying 1,500 tons of agricultural products are not able to transit to the Gulf countries, costing Lebanese producers between $1 million and $2 million daily.
The Farmers' Association is urging the government to create and fund a maritime route providing at least two ferries a week for farmers to ship their goods from Beirut to Egypt or Jordan - bypassing Syria.
(Excerpt) Read more at voanews.com ...
My dad did a stint on an ag project in the Bekaa Valley, back in the somewhere ‘90’s. Some of the people he was working (with) took him on a tour and showed him the difference in accommodations between the “farmers” and the dope growers. He said it seemed like there just weren’t that many farmers.
Well. Maybe not.
Wonder if any of these “...fruits and vegetables” produced in the Bekaa Valley had a chemical taste to them?
The link doesn’t really make it clear. But that article posted about a week ago. July 24, 2012.
And if not, how long before they do?