Transition Towards Farmer Agroecology in The Service of Food Sovereignty
Donors: Agence Française de development, CCFD-Terre solidaire
Duration: April 2018 – July 2022
Budget: 175,390 €
AFD: 72,934 €
CCFD-Terre Solidaire: 102,456 €
The overall objective is to promote the adoption of more environmentally-friendly agricultural practices.
The specific objectives are:
– To support existing permaculture initiatives
– To raise awareness among key stakeholders on alternatives to intensive production
– To support adoption of agroecology/permaculture practices in Akkar
In Lebanon, a very limited number of farmers are currently applying the principles of permaculture/agroecology. In addition to the structural challenges faced by farmers in general, lack of local expertise and vulgarization services limit the dissemination of these practices.
By being part of an international project (15 countries), the project team and farmers will also benefit from encounters with the other partners and capitalization among others.
On the market side, there is a growing demand for organic production even though limited to a small fringe of the population who can afford the extra cost.
Since mid2019, Lebanon faces a severe economic and financial crisis. One consequence is the high depreciation of the Lebanese pound on the black market. Give the high dependency on imported inputs, this depreciation leads to a high increase in production costs, while selling prices cannot fully absorb it. Farmers also suffer from the decrease in the demand, either direct from consumers or from the hospitality sector which was severely affected by the economic crisis.
The first results of changing the land preparation, tools and using green manure appeared in summer 2020. Farmers looking for cheaper solutions than chemicals showed great interest in the alternatives adopted in the pilot plots.
– Support the establishment of 7 demo plots – conversion to organic production in Akkar;
– Provide farmers with ad hoc expertise and technical support with a focus on land preparation, tools, and preparation of crop rotation plan
– Implement an awareness campaign among key stakeholders on the benefits of permaculture and agro-ecology
– Organize sharing-experience activities and information sessions
Economic crisis response:
In response to the economic crisis and their difficulties to plant their land, 58 farmers from the highlands benefited from seedlings and seeds.
Direct beneficiaries: 7 (pilot plots), 58 farmers
Indirect beneficiaries: students from agriculture schools and agronomy faculties, stakeholders, donors, public at large.