Recovery and rehabilitation of the dairy sector in Lebanon

Recovery and rehabilitation of the dairy sector in Lebanon
Jun 2016

Context

The agricultural sector in Lebanon, and particularly the milk and dairy sector, isa major source of income for poor rural communities. This is especially the case for households who do not own land. Almost 60 percent of livestock farmers in Lebanon depend on dairy as their main source of living and over 70 percent of dairy farmers are categorized as poor or very poor. FAO, in collaboration with the Government of Lebanon and its Ministry of Agriculture, carried out recovery and rehabilitation activities aimed at prompting sustainable milk production and improving the food safety standards (quality and hygienic standards) of the dairy industry to safeguard consumers and improve milk prices.

Challenge

Lebanon suffers from a serious deficit in its domestic production of essentialfood supplies, so it currently strongly depends on imports, particularly of animal products and cereal crops (75 to 80 percent). Production capacities worsened after the conflict of July 2006. In particular, the dairy sector - mainly goat ans sheep milk - has been exposed to several constraints over the last decade, with producers experiencing reduced income and losses due to a combination of factors: several years of conflict, meagre resources, unhygienic practices, lack of experience and low level of skills.