Certified cereal seed production in Lebanon – now a reality

October 30, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

H.E. Minister of Agriculture Dr. Hussein Hajj Hassan (centre) and Dr. Michel Afram (second left), President and DG of LARI tour the new seed storage facilities at LARI, Tel Amara in Bekaa, Lebanon

The Minister of Agriculture for Lebanon, Dr. Hussein Hajj Hassan held a press conference at the Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute (LARI) on October 6th 2012 to announce the availability of more than 4000 tonnes of wheat and 600 tonnes of barley certified seeds for distribution to farmers at competitive prices (USD 333/tonne). The seed is available now following the seed production and improvement program initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture in Lebanon in 2009 with technical support from ICARDA. This help from ICARDA has included training and the provision of 15 tonnes of foundation seed, representing 13 improved varieties of wheat, barley, lentil and chickpea, The press conference was attended by more than 200 farmers keen to have access to these varieties, knowing they will no longer have to use expensive imported seeds of varieties whose yields are often unpredictable and which suffer from abiotic and biotic stresses. The available wheat seed represent mostly ICARDA durum wheat varieties (Miki, Lahn, Azeghar & ICARASHA) and are expected to result in a significant improvement in wheat production in Lebanon.

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