Agriculture is the main livelihood in the region covered by the Union of Municipalities of Oussat And Sahel El Qaytaa and Menieh, especially with the nationwide economic crisis. The labour force in the area is mainly informal and low-skilled.
Following the recommendations of the Union of Municipalities, ACCD (the Catalan Agency For Development Cooperation), implemented an Agriculture Demonstration project with the aim:
- Deepen the technical knowledge of the targeted beneficiaries and their expertise.
- Increase their income generation and employment opportunities.
- Increase their production share in the market.
- Facilitate the economic activities in the agriculture and agro-food sector
Starting off with the identification of interested local farmers’ communities, cooperatives, and women in agro-food processing, an Agro-Food training programs was organised for six cooperatives and women associations in Majdala, Kobert Shemra, Wadi El Jamouss, Hmayra (Akkar), Merkabta, and Deir Ammar (North). In addition, individual farmers and women outreached by their peers attended these training sessions.
This Agro-food processing training covered the production of many home-made food, and cheese Mozzarella, Akkawi & Naboulsi Cheese, Mloukhiye Mloukhiye, Mafroukeh and a lot more preservable vegetables.
Another training covered agriculture production with 9 sessions including beekeeping, poultry, integrated pest management in greenhouses, nursery management, olive and olive oil, fruit and vegetables.
The last two training sessions covered proposal writing for cooperatives.
Component 1 covered the Agro-food processing with 12 sessions for Kobet Shemra, Wadi El Jamous, and Hmayra Cooperatives (Akkar), including all sorts of vegetables and food that can be preserved all year long.
Component 2 covered financial literacy and management for cooperatives with 40 sessions.
Component 3 covered small machinery distribution (Olive harvesters, steel cooking kettles, and compact fruit extractors) for cooperatives in both areas with three demonstration sessions.
Towards Project Sustainability
Almost 99% of agro-food processing trainees were women. Most of these ladies are either members of associations or individuals trying to start new businesses, which will play a big role in income generation for their families in the near future. The information passed on to the cooperatives and women’s associations will enrich their knowledge pool and ensure the continuity of the newly acquired skills to the next generations of new members.