Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) carried out a project to increase the agricultural capacity in South Lebanon and Beqaa within the scope of Lebanon Agricultural Development Program.
The project was carried out with the cooperation of the Representation Office of Islam Cooperation Youth Forum (ICYF) in Lebanon, Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture, Islam Risala Scouting Foundation and Saint Joseph University. Throughout the project, 120 young people were given theoretical and applied trainings on greenhouse cultivation, saffron farming and drying fruits and vegetables. Following the trainings, 16.000 saffron onions were planted and harvested in Beqaa.
Within the scope of the project, a greenhouse was opened for educational purposes in Ansar in South Lebanon. The objective was to use the income retrieved from the greenhouse to increase agricultural capacity. To this end, the income obtained from the first harvest was spent on planting zahter, a certain type of herb widely consumed in Lebanon. The climate and conditions in the region are very suitable for agriculture, but agriculture has remained in the background. Therefore, another objective of the project was to help reduce the youth unemployment rate by channelising young people towards agriculture and alternative agricultural products.
The Ambassador of the Republic of Türkiye in Beirut, Ali Barış Ulusoy, TİKA’s Beirut Coordinator, Orhan Aydın, Vice President of ICYF, Muhammed Hazimeh and the managers and scouters of Islam Risala Scouting Foundation attended the ceremony.
Ambassador Ulusoy gave a speech at the ceremony and said that TİKA sides with Lebanese people through many projects it has been conducting in different sectors and regions in Lebanon and added this is one of them. Ulusoy said, "We are in the village of Ansar to launch the project that TİKA undertook to support agricultural capacity in the south of Lebanon and Beqaa Valley. Thus, a greenhouse was created for practical and educational purposes. The plan is to plant saffron in Beqaa Valley. Within the same scope, 100 young people have been given a chance to receive a training on agriculture. This is one of the most important contributions of TİKA to Lebanon.”
Vice President of ICYF Hazimeh said that it is pleasing that a project which was just a dream 1 year ago has now become true. Hazimeh underlined that the saffron project in Beqaa is an exemplary project for Lebanon and indicated that they are very happy to have shown farmers and young people that it is possible to grow a valuable product such as saffron.
TİKA’s Lebanon Coordinator, Orhan Aydın, informed that the project was run by the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture, Saint Joseph University and ICYF and added that within the scope of the project 12 young people were given theoretical and practical trainings on greenhouse cultivation, saffron farming and drying fruits and vegetables. Aydın said after the trainings, 16 thousand saffron onions were planted and harvested in Beqaa Valley.