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Enhancing the Productivity , Market Opportunities for Small Ruminant farmers in Nabatieh

Background

The Israeli aggression against Lebanon in July 2006 has severely affected not only the infrastructure but also the livelihoods of rural communities especially farmers, that were already extremely vulnerable due to the absence of a governmental policy and commitment towards the agricultural sector.
Agricultural areas in South Lebanon are characterized by smallholdings compared to other regions and this is mainly due to the geographical nature of the area. Besides the regular goat herders who graze their flocks in public and religiously owned lands, milk producers are small holders who have several cows and who sell their products locally within the villages or to collectors who provide local processing facilities.
Within all this, there are some attempts by local producers to establish groupings in which they consolidate their efforts and produce a variety of traditional products and refined cheeses. These were affected too by the events of last summer.
The selected pilot area is in villages around Nabatieh, South of Lebanon namely: Kfar Rumman, Mayfadoun, Braykeh, Tayr Filsay, Houmeen Tahta, Kfour and Sarba.

Aims & Objectives

The project aims at strengthening a group of local farmers and producers who are involved in the small scale goat production; and supporting their income diversity through providing additional high producing small ruminants, some complementary processing equipment and marketing support activities.
The specific objectives of the project for the pilot rural cluster are to:

  • provide the target farmers with a limited number of high producing Shami goats,
  • Strengthen the production capacity of a traditional milk processing unit and hence, increase the income from the milk in its processed form,
  • Provide training for the target farmers on advanced animal nutrition and management to reduce their production costs,
  • Act as a driver for multiplication of these activities in the post-war devastated South Lebanon,
  • Enhancing the market supply with high value traditional dairy products, and
  • Strengthen the recently established cooperative to be able to serve its farmers and expand to include others

Main Activities

  • In cooperation with local and regional institutions, about 50 1-year old Shami Goats will be distributed among the farmers equally. Upon delivery, the farmers, who already have a experience in animal husbandry, will be subject to training on recent management and nutrition practices that would optimize the productivity of the goats.
  • In parallel, Milk processing equipment will be provided to an existing semi professional processing unit owned by one of the farmers within the group.
  • A small car will be provided with insulation and cooling for use as a milk collection vehicle.
  • Promotional material will be produced and contacts will be established with a small shop in Beirut to market the processed product.

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