CSP Enhances Food Security in the Beqaa by Supporting a Nursery to Produce 1.2 million Seedlings for Local Farmers in 2023
The villages of Aarsal, El Laboue, En Nabi Osmane, Ej Jdaide, Ras Baalbek, and El Qaa in Baalbek-Hermel are home to around 130,000 residents, including 55,000 Syrian refugees, who rely heavily on agriculture for their livelihoods. As a result of skyrocketing inflation in Lebanon, local farmers have been struggling to purchase seedlings, which has contributed to decreased agricultural production and diminished incomes, leading to food insecurity and growing intercommunal tensions over limited livelihoods.
To support local farmers, the NGO Cooperation Without Borders (CWB) operates a 1,494m2 climate-controlled nursery to provide seedlings at affordable prices. However, due to its limited capacity, many were left without this vital support. In response, by September 2022, USAID’s Community Support Program (CSP) had expanded the capacity of CWB’s seedlings nursery by providing it with a 1,867m2 greenhouse, a climate-controlled germination room, an irrigation system, and all the necessary equipment to enable it to increase its production of high-quality, low-cost seedlings for underserved farmers.
By August 2023, the expanded nursery continued to operate at full capacity, enabling CWB to produce more than 1.2 million low-cost seedlings so far this year. In fact, since the beginning of the growing season in March 2023, CWB distributed more than 750,000 eggplant seedlings, around 300,000 sweet pepper seedlings, and more than 150,000 tomato seedlings, benefiting more than 250 local farmers. This intervention has enhanced agricultural production in Baalbek-Hermel by providing low-cost, high-quality seedling to nearly 1,000 farmers since September 2022.
“Not only did this intervention increase CWB’s production of high-quality seedlings, but it will enable CWB to cultivate close to 1,200 hectares of land, contributing greatly to the agricultural sector amidst the country’s economic crisis”, said Elias Ghadban, founding member of CWB.