Saidoun COOP Launches its First Agricultural Market Thanks to USAID/CSP, South Lebanon
Saidoun and four surrounding villages, Deir Qattine, Hidab, Rimate, and Sanaya, are home to around 3,000 residents and 300 refugees, which are supported by the local agricultural cooperative (COOP). Amidst Lebanon’s ongoing socio-economic crisis, the COOP and its farmers have been struggling with a significant increase in production costs, leading to communal tensions over limited income-generation opportunities. In response, USAID’s Community Support Program (CSP) provided the COOP with five rotary tillers, two trailers, nine mechanical pruning shears, six mechanical olive harvesters, and other needed equipment to enhance the efficiency and decrease production costs for 120 farming households. In parallel, to ensure the sustainability of this intervention, CSP has been training COOP members on the equipment’s operation and maintenance, safety and storage, as well as on strategies to better market their products to sustainably improve local incomes. Recently, the COOP held its first agricultural market in Saidoun, whilst making use of their newly acquired social media skills and digital tools to attract some 400 visitors and promote the goods of 12 vendors.
“Thanks to USAID/CSP support, we were able to promote farmers’ products and maximize their sales. We were also able to encourage the rental of CSP-provided equipment ahead of the upcoming harvest season,” stated Charbel Khawand, Head of Saidoun Agricultural COOP.