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USAID SUPPORTS VULNERABLE FARMERS WITH SEEDLINGS TO IMPROVE FOOD SECURITY IN LEBANON

USAID SUPPORTS VULNERABLE FARMERS WITH SEEDLINGS TO IMPROVE FOOD SECURITY IN LEBANON


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through the Agriculture and Rural Empowerment (ARE) activity, is providing over 11,000 Lebanese farmers with seeds, seedlings, and compost to bolster food security in Lebanon. This ongoing initiative aims to mitigate the impact of rising food costs and reduced purchasing power, particularly impacting rural Lebanese communities. On March 20, 2024, USAID Lebanon Mission Director Julie Southfield visited a distribution site in Jbeil to engage with farmers, addressing their challenges and underscoring the vital role of the agriculture sector in Lebanon’s economy. Input costs for essential agricultural supplies like seeds have surged, hindering farmers’ ability to obtain high-quality seeds and leading to missed planting seasons or diminished yields with lower-grade seeds. By empowering farmers with the necessary resources to enhance productivity and resilience, USAID seeks to foster food self-sufficiency, revitalize agricultural production, and streng
then food systems in the country, amidst economic challenges.

Commenting on the initiative, USAID Lebanon Mission Director Julie Southfield stated, ‘Supporting agriculture and farmers plays a pivotal role to enhance food security for Lebanese communities and families. With Lebanon’s agricultural sector being a significant source of livelihoods for many, investing in this sector not only boosts local economies, but also ensures access to nutritious and affordable food for all. Moreover, supporting agriculture fosters self-sufficiency, reducing reliance on imported food items.’

Over a period of two years, USAID is investing approximately $1.1m to support 11,500 small-scale farmers nationwide. These farmers will receive critical agriculture inputs for both unirrigated and irrigated production systems, facilitating the cultivation of nutritious vegetables and legumes for consumption or sale. To date, 5,000 farmers have benefited from this support. The distribution of seeds and seedlings will be organized into f
all and spring seasons with each assistance recipient receiving a tailored support package based on their farming requirements. This in-kind support is coupled with technical training and educational materials to improve crop productivity, and with linkages between farmers and input suppliers to sustain production.

Information on the USAID-funded Agriculture and Rural Empowerment Activity

The Agriculture and Rural Empowerment (ARE) activity is a $57 million, multi-year activity funded by USAID. ARE supports Lebanese rural and peri-urban communities with obtaining technical and financial resources to increase productivity, sales, and exports, improve business income, and ensure sustainable livelihoods, all while improving food security for vulnerable populations.

Source: National News Agency – Lebanon