Agriculture Minister Hussein Hajj Hasan said Monday that he has asked the Cabinet to purchase 100,000 20-liter olive oil canisters as local produce increased to 2 million canisters .
Hajj Hasan said reviving cooperatives is necessary to boost the olive oil sector, which primarily suffers from the small size of agricultural properties. He said work should be done for Lebanese olive oil to be certified as organic. Meanwhile, Hasbaya farmers called on the government to settle payments owed to olive farmers since last year.
They also called for government help in finding markets to this year’s oil produce. Hasbaya MP Anwar Khalil said the Finance Ministry has unfairly required farmers to open bank accounts before receiving the payments due on 50,000 canisters bought for the Lebanese Army last year.