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Lebanon PDF Print E-mail

Agriculture in Lebanon:

Used Agricultural land in Lebanon covers 25% of the total landscape, which represent about 248 Thousand hectares, of which 104 Thousand Hectares are irrigated. Permanent crops cover about 47% of the used green land, while olive represents the greatest share of this land, about 52 Thousand Hectares.

Lebanese agriculture stays, in spite of the limited landscape, a special and unique case in the Middle East area, where various climate and agricultural conditions encourage great variation in products. Accessible water to these land till now, has enabled irrigation of about half of the used land, and decreased very much the negative effect of the natural conditions rotation.

Seasonal working power reaches to about 7.12 Million working days per year, female labour force are used in 52% of those days. The level of using seasonal manpower in Lebanon is considered slightly high compared to other countries in the region.

Agriculture in Lebanon is facing many obstacles, which are linked mainly to the unstable status of production structures, which disable any effective development mobilization.

Agricultural practices and methods generally adopted have limited effectiveness, while some agricultural fields were able to make qualitative and technical leaps that resulted high revenue and productivity. This shows clearly that there are great margins to reach high technical and economical levels, in spite of the relatively high cost of production factors. This also indicates the possibility to use the gradual reliance on pioneer technologies that proved efficiency in suitable conditions.

Features of marketing process indicates dependence on old styles of marketing, this is leading to a decrease in income for farmers, and limits interaction of pioneer agricultural units with markets, because of lack of access to precise information of market process and variation of obstacles which hinder creation of competitive environments.

The Agricultural sector has witnessed a relative decrease through the last three decades. However, the role played by this sector in the national economy is still maintained as the agricultural sector in Lebanon ensures:

  • About 7% of the National income.
  • Employment for 20-30% of the workforce.
  • Representation of about 17% of exports values.

Lebanon imports a great part of its food needs, as agricultural production cannot cover them all. Value of imports in 2003 reached to about 2006 billion L.L., which represents about 20% of the Total Imports, contributing in more deficiency in the trade balance (18% of this deficiency is due to imported agricultural material). On the other hand, value of exported agricultural material and derivatives in the same year did not exceed 345 Billion L.L. Statistics show that deficiency in the food bill has reached an average of 1620 Billion L.L. annually in 2000-2003.

Investment on the high imported food bill is becoming essential to improve the inner status of the agricultural facts, and to increase its competency on the local markets level at least.

Going back to the annual book of Arabic Agricultural Statistics, issued by the Arab Organization of Agricultural Development, The year 2003 witnessed:

-Gross Agricultural production in current prices 1415 Million US Dollars.

- Value of Agricultural Exports 264,95 Million US Dollars.

- Value of Agricultural Imports 1414,68 Million US Dollars



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