CSP Completes its Trainings to Ainata el Arz Agricultural Cooperative (Beqaa) to Sustain USAID’s Assistance
Ainata el Arz is an agricultural village in the Beqaa, home to around 2,780 Lebanese residents and 350 Syrian refugees. Known for its cultivation of apples, cherries, apricots, and grape vines, the village established a cooperative (COOP) to improve farming practices and enhance local economic opportunities. However, amidst the worsening socio-economic conditions in Lebanon, farmers have been facing rising production costs and diminished incomes. Furthermore, located at 1,500m altitude, the village regularly faces harsh weather conditions, which threatens crops and places significance on timely pruning and cultivation. In response, and to support farmers’ livelihoods, USAID’s Community Support Program (CSP) provided the COOP with ten electric pruning shears, five semi-automatic rotary tillers, two wood shredders, two trailers, as well as a solar-powered welding station to repair irrigation lines.
To ensure sustainability of this assistance, and equip the COOP’s members with the necessary skills and knowledge to manage their operations, CSP trained them on the safe operation and maintenance of the provided equipment, scheduling and operational plan, business planning, branding, and marketing. On September 16 and 21, 2022 CSP concluded its assistance to the community by training 27 farmers and COOP members on pruning and grafting cherry trees.
“This training enabled us to learn new techniques that will allow us to increase our cherry production, become market competitors during these difficult times, and enhance local incomes,” said Michelle Rahme, Head of Ainata COOP and Ainata municipality.