Lebanon and IFAD partner to boost smallholder dairy production
02 August 2019
Rome, 31 July 2019 – About 6,080 resource-poor Lebanese rural households and Syrian refugees will benefit from a new US$12 million project that aims to increase the income of smallholder dairy producers and processors, as well as to increase employment opportunities for young Lebanese in communities affected by the Syrian crisis and young Syrian refugees.
The financing agreement for the Harmonized Actions for Livestock Enhanced Production and Processing Project (HALEPP) was signed on 30 July by Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and Hassan Lakkis, Minister for Agriculture of Lebanon, and includes a $4.9 million loan and $0.6 million grant from IFAD.
The projectwill be cofinanced by Switzerland through the Facility for Refugees, Migrants, Forced Displacement and Rural Stability - FARMS ($2.3 million), a grant through the European Union Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis – the Madad Fund ($2.2 million), the Government of Lebanon ($1.8 million), and the beneficiaries themselves ($0.2 million).
Agriculture, particularly the milk and dairy sector, is an important source of income for poor rural communities, home to just 13 per cent of Lebanon's population. Generating 4.6 per cent of Lebanon's total economic output, the agricultural sector employs 20-25 per cent of the country's workforce, with 20 per cent of households classified as very poor. A high percentage of Syrian refugees work in farming in the main agricultural areas of North Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley where poverty rates are estimated at 36-38 per cent.
HALEPP will largely focus on the poorest Lebanese communities most affected by the influx of Syrian refugees, as well as the Syrian refugees themselves, by implementing the project in the poorest of 1,653 cadasters (a system of land registry) in the country. About 15 per cent of these cadasters are home to 67 per cent of the most deprived Lebanese and 87 per cent of Syrian refugees.
The new project, expected to benefit 28,576 rural people, will enhance the competitiveness of smallholder dairy producers by increasing productivity and the supply of quality milk. Training of producers and processors on animal management, health and productivity of cattle dairy herds aims to reduce post-harvest losses of milk, raise the quality of dairy products at the household level and improve nutrition through increased consumption of dairy products.
Since 1992, IFAD has invested a total of $49 million in five projects and programmes in Lebanon (amounting to $178 million with co-financing), benefiting 57,380 households.
Press release No.: IFAD/35/2019
IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided US$20.9 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 483 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the United Nations’ food and agriculture hub. More about IFAD: www.ifad.org.