Planning for Success in Lebanese Agriculture with Integrated Pest Management

Planning for Success in Lebanese Agriculture with Integrated Pest Management

Empowering Agriculture: Integrated Pest Management training in Northern Beqaa, Lebanon 

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) has emerged as a game-changer for farmers and gardeners in Northern Beqaa, Lebanon, offering an eco-friendly and economically viable approach to pest control. Through a collaborative effort with GATE Lebanon and the Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute (LARI), RET, supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of the Federal Republic of Germany (BMZ), is driving a project focused on enhancing income generation and fostering peaceful coexistence among Lebanese and Syrian refugees in the agricultural and food production sectors. 

Empowering Women in Agriculture 

In a bid to uplift women in agriculture, particularly small-scale farmers and workers in Baalbek-Hermel Governorate, targeted training sessions were conducted. These sessions covered a spectrum of vital agricultural practices, including pruning, grafting, harvest and post-harvest techniques, pest control, and vegetable production. Additionally, essential tools and weather-resistant clothing were provided, reinforcing the resilience of these women to poverty and climate-related challenges. 

Pruning Expertise for Fruitful Yields 

A pruning expert led sessions in the Northern Beqaa region, enlightening Lebanese farmers and Syrian workers on the art of pruning fruit trees and grapes. This hands-on training empowers them to nurture healthier and more productive orchards. 

Soil and Water Quality Assessments 

Engineers from GATE meticulously gathered soil samples from over 20 demonstration plots in Northern Bekaa, evaluating soil texture and nutrient content. Additionally, samples of irrigation water were subjected to rigorous testing, ensuring optimal conditions for crop growth. 

Harvest and Post-Harvest Excellence 

Approximately 250 field workers honed their skills in harvesting and post-harvest techniques under the guidance of an expert. This included critical processes like cleaning, organizing, grading, sorting, and packing. Essential tools such as packing bags, gloves, goggles, winter jackets, and harvesting shears were distributed, amplifying their proficiency and earnings. 

Biological Control: Cryptolaemus Montrouzieri 

Farmers were introduced to the mealy bug predator, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, at LARI’s beneficial insect laboratory. This initiative encouraged a shift towards biological control methods against grape mealybugs, significantly reducing production costs and chemical pesticide reliance. Over two years, a staggering 57,850 Cryptolaemus beetles were distributed to grape farmers, effectively curbing mealybug infestations. 

Mass Trapping for Fruit Fly Management 

GATE Lebanon, in tandem with LARI, orchestrated training sessions on the installation of mass trapping to combat the olive fruit fly and the Mediterranean fruit fly. The program provided traps, bottles, and backpack sprayers to each farmer. Furthermore, experts demonstrated how to craft traps from readily available recycled materials, enabling cost-effective fruit fly management for 140 hectares of fruit trees. 

The Integrated Pest Management project in Northern Beqaa is not only revolutionizing pest control but also uplifting local farmers and communities. Through targeted training and sustainable practices, RET, in partnership with GATE Lebanon and LARI, is catalyzing positive change in the agricultural landscape, ensuring a resilient and prosperous future for all involved.