CSP Supports Beqaa Nursery to Produce more than 2.1 Million Seedlings for Local Farmers
The villages of Aarsal, El Laboue, En Nabi Osmane, Ej Jdaide, Ras Baalbek, and El Qaa, (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 are struggling to purchase crop seedlings, which has contributed to diminished incomes and growing intercommunal tensions over limited resources. To support farmers in the area, local NGO Cooperation Without Borders (CWB) operates a 1,494 m2 climate-controlled nursery to provide seedlings at affordable prices. However, due to its limited capacity, many were left without this vital support. In response, USAID’s Community Support Program (CSP) has expanded the capacity of CWB’s seedlings nursery by providing it with a 1,867m2 greenhouse and a climate-controlled germination room, to enable it to increase its production of high-quality, low-cost seedlings for underserved farmers. By September 2022, the expanded nursery had enabled CWB to produce around 2.1 million seedlings. In parallel, CSP is finalizing the supply and installation of solar panels to sustain the greenhouses’ heating and cooling systems, which is expected to be completed by December 2022. By enabling the expansion of CWB’s operations, this activity is enhancing agricultural production and local livelihoods for vulnerable farmers in Baalbek-Hermel.
“This intervention by USAID/CSP facilitated this year’s production of seedlings which is improving the livelihoods of nearly 1,000 farmers and the cultivation of around 1,200 hectares of lands,” explained Dr Elias Ghadban, founding member of CWB.