The CSP-Equipped Majdel Aanjar Agricultural Cooperative Launches its Operations for the Season (Beqaa)
Home to around 23,000 Lebanese residents and 23,000 refugees, the town of Majdel Aanjar (Beqaa) is served by a cooperative (COOP) that supports local farmers and producers by purchasing, processing, and marketing agricultural goods such as pickles, jams, and dairy products. However, the COOP’s poor facilities coupled with the seasonal nature of the work has been limiting members’ incomes and livelihoods, especially amidst the nationwide economic crisis, which has fueled rising intercommunal tensions. In response, in February 2022, USAID’s Community Support Program (CSP) supplied the COOP with new equipment to expand and improve its production and enhance local livelihoods, including a commercial stove and oven, a stainless-steel freezer, tables and bowls, a vacuum packing machine, and a fruit and vegetable dehydrator. In addition, CSP upgraded the COOP’s food and safety standards by installing air curtains, a new door, and window screens. With the start of this year’s agro-processing season, the COOP has now launched its operations, making use of the new equipment. By increasing the COOP’s production capacity, this activity will benefit an estimated 100 underserved local farmers and producers.
“This intervention by USAID/CSP enabled us to broaden the COOP’s reach by increasing its capacity to produce larger quantities as well as improving the quality of our products,” stated Raya Hamze, a female worker at the COOP.