Strengthening the Role of Rural Women in Agro-Food Processing in the Bekaa Region

The Bekaa valley is one of Lebanon’s primary agricultural regions, however, only 35% of the farmers there are able to make a living from their land. Most of them sell their produce directly as commodities without adding any value to them through secondary measures such as agro-food processing.

The objectives were:

  • Improving the performances of the coops in the region of Baalbeck-Hermel
  • Assisting the coops in the improvement of the product quality, which should facilitate their acceptance by local and International consumers.
  • Facilitating the products access to International markets though complying with the prevailing rules, regulations and market specificities of the destination countries.

The methods for this project were to work through Cooperatives, primarily composed of women. The outcomes were that the Cooperatives were able to function with increased efficiency, an established and centralized quality assurance system was laid down, market access for Coop food products was expanded, and the Cooperatives were able to work together to create product harmony between themselves, so as to not overlap and compete.

Date 01/08/2007-31/04/2008
Project Strengthening the Role of Rural Women in Agro-Food Processing in the Bekaa Region
Budget 99,831
Location Baalbak-Hermel
Donors The Italian Embassy, through the Italian Cooperation – ROSS Emergency Program
Partners The “Union of Agricultural cooperatives in Deir Al Ahmar and neighboring villages” (consisting of 14 cooperatives)

The “Union of Production and Artisanal Cooperatives in the Bekaa and Neighboring Villages” (consisting of 9 cooperatives).

Sectors Agricultural & Rural Development
Beneficiaries 9 Cooperatives of the Union of Agro-Food processing

200 Women involved in processing homemade Lebanese products

14 Cooperatives in the Union of Agriculture Production