BACKGROUND OF THE INITIATIVE
The cooperation project “Activation of Mechanisms to Sustain Rural Territories and Communities in Lebanon” (TerCom) falls within the actions taken by the italian Ministery of Foreign Affairs through the Italian Directorate-General for Cooperation and Development, in the frame of the “Early Recovery Assistance” with the contribution of the Apulla Region. The project aims at supporting the income of the lebanese Communities affected by the war events of July 2006, through undertaking and developing strategies in order to :
•Provide technical assistance for improvement of agricultural production quality.
•Support the creation of pilot inintiatives for the promotion of local products and land enhancement.
•Support the activation of initiatives on marine environment and fishery sector.
The project proposal was the result of a joint effort of local authorities, mainly the Lebanese Ministery of Agriculture (MoA), the National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the CHIHEAM/Istituto Agronomico Mediterraneo di Bari (CHIHEAM/IAMB).
The project will be implemented by CHIHEAM/IAMB , The Ministery Of Agriculture, CNRS and the local communities.
The final beneficiaries are the communities in rural areas that will bebefit from the strengthening of the ministery of Agrigulture services and departments located in the project area and through the establishment of Local Action Groups following the “Leader+” program approach.
The partners involved in the LAG represent the interests of local socio-economic players and communities and the different sectors and associations concerned by the environment, the heritage, social and cultural integration, etc.
Territories of Intervention
The project is mostly located in south Lebanon and in the rural territories in the North.
PROJECT EXPECTED RESULTS
1. Qualitative improvement of lebanese fruit and vegetable production:
The activity intends to strenghten the Ministry of Agriculture in the fulfilment of its tasks in the rural areas where agricultural production is mainly concentrated. The actions will provide specific indications for the harmonization of standards and procedures aiming at the improvement of quality and optimization of production processes for a better income of the Lebanese Farmers.
Assistance to the Ministery of Agriculture will be provided in order to:
*Give technical support to the technical services of the Ministry based and working in South Lebanon for the improvement of the agricultural production quality.
*Improve production quality standards and harmonize monitoring methodologies and diagnosis protocols for pests affecting crops destined to export in compliance with internationally recongnized standards.
*Offer technical assistance to the private sector structures in associations or cooperatives to promote the short chain market, organic production and Fair trade.
To activate the result the project will:
*Elaborate protocols of integrated production and guidelines for organic standards production on the crops: olice, tomato, potato and aromatic plants.
*Offer assistance to elaborate a National Action Plan to develop Organic Agriculture.
*Provide assistance in the re-organization and strenghtening of extension centres in the South.
*Activate a monitoring service for the assessment of potato pathogens in order to export the production.
*Provide technical assistance in market organization.
2.Initiatives for territorial enhancement:
Given the peculiarity of the Lebanese area involved in the project, unremitting attention will be paid to support the local development through the involvement of a large number of small-sized farms and actions likely to open international scenarios for the marketing of agricultural products.
“Local governance”methods will be supported, able to:
*Stimulate forms of integration among farmers and synergies among small farms.
*Boost the consolidation of local holdings in a context of competition and cooperation.
*Create opportunities and tools of development for holdings and areas in line with the local economic, social , productive and organizational peculiarities.
To achieve this result the project will:
*Set up Local Action Groups in Tyre, Baalbeck and Byblos through trainings in-loco and in Italy on territorial development by local actors.
*Define and harmonize quality rules, crate a trademark of traditional products and publish an atlas for traditional products.
*Set up a Territorial information System (TIS) to finalize the territorial potentialities and create integrated thematic actions in agriculture, handcraft, tourism, environment and culture.
*Assist in the setting up of an observatory for rual women’s entrepreneurship.
*Assess the forestery management situation and elaborate actions for protection and enhancement of forest areas.
3. Elaborated and ongoing development plan for fishing and sea farming:
The project aims to activate initiatives for the valorisation of the Lebanese coast, to create a partnership with itaien scientific institutions for the assessment of the marine potentialities and environmental issues and to asist in identifying income-generating activities for the fishermen communities.
To achieve this result the project will:
*Identify potential income-generating activities to support the fishermen communities for the calorisation of the coast.
*Identify procedures to support the environmental and marine monitoring activities with donating a boat designed to carry out research on the sea.
*Support the national action plan for the assessment of the sea resources ans environmental issue in collaboration with italian scientific institutions.