ACDI/VOCA is implementing a five-year, USAID-funded Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program in Egypt, Lebanon and potentially other countries. This $7.24 million Middle East and North Africa (MENA) F2F program is being implemented through a consortium with Land O' Lakes and Winrock International. Through F2F, ACDI/VOCA helps strengthen five components of the producer-to-market agricultural system: farm production; post-harvest handling; intermediate and final processing; retail and wholesale sales; and local and regional markets.
F2F Lebanon focuses specifically on strengthening the horticulture and small ruminant livestock industries throughout the country. Through the planned 126 volunteer consultants, ACDI/VOCA will address value chain constraints in these industries in order to increase agricultural productivity and profitability. Over the life of the project, ACDI/VOCA will provide technical assistance to 2,340 direct beneficiaries and 18,720 indirect beneficiaries throughout the country and particularly in Akkar, Zgharta, Arsal, Mount Lebanon, North Lebanon, the Bekaa Valley and South Lebanon.
Rebuilding Lebanon’s Preeminence in Fruits and Vegetables
Historically, Lebanon has been the region’s premier supplier of apples, oranges, cherries, peaches and other stone fruit products. Over the last two decades, however, other countries have made inroads into Lebanon’s fresh fruit market. Through F2F, ACDI/VOCA works to increase domestic production to meet local demand and provide incentives for import substitution. It also works on increasing the potential for export markets in which Lebanon can assume a competitive advantage over neighboring countries.
To this end, F2F Lebanon works with producers to enhance the competitiveness of fresh fruit and vegetable producers. Working with farmer groups, small- and medium-sized enterprise cooperatives, and individual farmers, volunteer consultants improve practices in plowing, fertilization and natural resource management. F2F Lebanon is introducing value-added processing techniques to increase farmers’ revenues. In addition, F2F Lebanon addresses business management issues for horticulture producer associations, cooperatives and individual farmers.
Increasing Domestic Supply of Meat and Dairy
F2F Lebanon also focuses on enhancing the competitiveness of the small ruminant livestock industry in Lebanon. Currently, over 12,500 producer households in Lebanon own 378,050 sheep and 435,970 goats, yet the country imports approximately 70 percent of its milk and milk by-products and 85 percent of its meat products. Working with associations, cooperatives, smallholder goat and sheep farmers, and processors, ACDI/VOCA provides targeted volunteer assistance to improve farm management, animal health, milk handling, processing and quality control to increase production levels and quality and to increase small ruminant farmers’ income. Technical assistance is aimed at improving fodder varieties, diversifying feed resources, improving feed quality. and increasing the availability of veterinary services.
A second focus in this industry is to improve small ruminant producers’ business management practices. F2F volunteer consultants aid producers in identifying new markets, improving access to finance and increasing processor incomes.
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