October 30, 2023

CSP-Provided Solar Welding Machine Reduces Farmers’ Production Costs by 50% in Aainata el Arez

Ainata el Arz, an agricultural village in the Beqaa, is home to around 2,780 Lebanese residents and 350 Syrian refugees. Known for its cultivation of apples, cherries, apricots and vine leaves, the community established a cooperative to improve farming practices and enhance local economic opportunities by renting out agricultural equipment to small-scale farmers at low costs. Amidst the worsening socio-economic crisis, farmers have been facing rising costs of production coupled with diminished incomes, which fueled competition over low-cost equipment rentals and increased tensions over limited income-generation. Furthermore, located at an altitude of 1,500m, the village regularly faces harsh weather conditions, exacerbating the negative impacts on local livelihoods.

In response, in January 2021, USAID’s Community Support Program (CSP) provided the cooperative with modern agricultural equipment, including ten electric pruning shears, five semi-automatic rotary tillers, two wood shredders, and two trailers. Additionally, CSP provided the cooperative with an innovative solar-powered welding machine to ensure proper and continuous crop irrigation during constant state-electricity cuts. By October 2023, more than 672 local farmers from Ainata el Arz and neighboring villages had rented the solar-powered welding machine, enabling them to decrease production, operation, and maintenance costs by 50%. This intervention is enhancing irrigation infrastructure, increasing agricultural production, and improving the livelihoods of more than 720 local farmers.



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