World Bank supports Lebanese small farmers under pressure from multiple crises in Lebanon – Lebanon

BEIRUT, May 20, 2021 –The World Bank has approved the reallocation of US $ 10 million under the Roads and Employment Projectt supporting Lebanese smallholder farmers with agricultural inputs and animal feed to help them maintain their crop and animal production, and support their ability to contribute to food security. The program is expected to benefit around 26,700 smallholder farmers who suffered from planting and harvesting delays linked to COVID-19 this year. It will also provide around 1 million doses of animal vaccine to support the annual livestock vaccination campaign.

Agriculture is seen as an essential sector for job creation and poverty reduction in Lebanon, both for the Lebanese and for the Syrian refugees. The Lebanese agricultural sector has been severely affected by the recent economic and financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Lack of credit facilities, currency devaluation and capital control measures hampering payment to agricultural sector suppliers have severely affected agricultural production given the country’s dependence on imported agricultural inputs. .

“Preserving and strengthening national agricultural production and value chains are not only essential to mitigate the short-term risk associated with food security, but also to stimulate the local economy and create jobs in the agricultural sector”, ** Said Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank Mashreq Regional Director. “*** The World Bank is firmly committed to supporting Lebanon as it faces unprecedented worsening crises by saving people’s lives and livelihoods and supporting a faster economic recovery.” *

The Small Farmer Support Program will provide eligible farmers with two types of vouchers for the purchase of essential inputs to enable continued agricultural production: vouchers for agricultural production inputs (fertilizer, seeds, seedlings and other agricultural inputs eligible) and livestock vouchers. production inputs, mainly animal feed. The value of each voucher would be US $ 300. Since most agricultural inputs in Lebanon are imported, all transactions between input suppliers and farmers will be processed in US dollars through vouchers.

The program will be implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Lebanon (FAO) under the general technical direction and under the direction of the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and in strict compliance with the World Bank fiduciary and safeguard policies. FAO will be responsible for identifying and selecting input suppliers in accordance with agreed eligibility criteria, verifying and validating that input suppliers have received funds and distributed inputs to eligible beneficiaries when submitting proposals. vouchers, and submit monthly monitoring reports. based.

“FAO is building on its similar experience in agricultural input vouchers in Lebanon and around the world with the aim of contributing to the restoration of the livelihoods and productive capacities of farmers and producers and to the increase in agricultural production and productivity in Lebanon ”, *** said Maurice Saade, FAO Representative in Lebanon. ** “These are the first two pillars of the national agricultural strategy recently adopted by the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture with technical support from FAO. “*

Under the program, FAO will also recruit an independent monitoring agent (TPMA) to perform: (i) validation of a random sample of “pre-approved beneficiaries” on the basis of field visits to ensure that the beneficiaries meet the eligibility criteria; and ii) post-distribution monitoring, based on the verification of a random sample of beneficiaries who have received entry vouchers. Another TPMA will be recruited by the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR) to verify that animal vaccinations have been implemented according to agreed procedures and in accordance with the annual vaccination program of the Directorate of Animal Resources.

Farmers will be invited to submit their applications for the program through a national campaign to be launched shortly by the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with FAO. The Small Farmer Support Program will adopt a robust complaints mechanism to ensure that queries and complaints from all stakeholders, including agricultural applicants, beneficiary farmers, input suppliers and farming communities, are addressed. resolved quickly, efficiently and transparently. The program was designed in close collaboration with the World Bank, which will closely monitor implementation to ensure strict compliance with the principles of transparency, equity and efficiency.

Contacts

In Washington

Ashraf Al-Saeed

+1 (202) 473-1187

[email protected]

In Beirut

Zeina El Khalil

+ (961) 1-963-438

[email protected]

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