Lebanon Discuss Fruit Ripe for Export Markets
Lebanese fruit and vegetable growers could soon receive financial help for the export of their goods under a government initiative to sell excess local produce overseas, The Daily Star reported Saturday.
In a meeting hosted by the Lebanese International Chamber of Commerce Thursday, government representatives, transport officials, economists and agriculturists discussed how best to distribute the LL50 billion ($33 million) for export subsidies included in the government’s 2001 budget, said the daily. The money will be released once Parliament approves the budget, a move expected sometime next month.
According to the Lebanese paper, the exporting subsidies will make Lebanese agricultural products cheaper to sell abroad and should give farmers a better chance of finding a market for their excess produce.
Abdul Rahman Zaatari, president of the Organization of Exporters and Importers of Fruit and Vegetables in Lebanon, was quoted by the daily as saying “I think this will help up to 50 percent of Lebanese, because so many people depend on farming here.”
Two years ago, the South Lebanon Farmers’ Association proposed to the previous government that $60 million be allocated to subsidize exports of fruit and vegetables. These subsidies would have included $500 for a ton of olive oil, $125 a ton for citrus exports, and $125 for a ton of apples – Albawaba.com