Written by Abdo Helou
Translated by Assaad Maalouf
NNA - Wheat is a kind of agriculture that does not allow farmers to make profits; however, he does go for it in order to complete the annual agricultural cycle. Wheat cultivation causes the land to take rest, and consequently to reduce watering the land.
Ibrahim Tarshishi, head of the Agriculture Syndicates Union in Bekaa, said the wheat farmer is in need of the government's support to help complete his work.
Tarshishi told the National News Agency that last April the wheat growers outlived the same cold tempertature throughout all Bekaa, the Northern, Central and Western. Accordingly, they lost half the wheat season and preserved the other half. Tarshishi indicated that there was negligence shown by officials in this regard, especially by the ministry of economy, explaining that the concerned official has just received the wheat application last November, the due date of the year for wheat planting. And so, after the government took the decision to plant wheat and activated the farmers' applications last March, not any agricultural committee, as every year, came to insure that hectares of the lands have been planted and whether the cultivation conformed to the content of the application. Even the wheat quality has not been inspected thereafter.
He added that between June 15 and July 15, the wheat was picked and gathered to keep the land void of any trace of wheat planting. Between April and June the price of 1 KG wheat was identified. Usually the financial support is LL 3 billion if 30 thousand tons are produced.
Tarshishi indicated that Lebanon imports every year 450 thousand tons of wheat, not to take into consideration the 1.5 million of Syrian refugees population in Lebanon. Wheat production in Lebanon is less than 30%.
He stressed that the wheat cultivation was necessary and promising and has guaranteed food security, and so, it should not be disregarded.
He concluded by addressing the Economy Ministry to find a quick solution to the wheat that was found in not well-equipped depots, especially that the wheat has been put open to air, under sun, without a ceiling to an extent that birds moved down to eat the grains. "We raise our outcry now before the arrival of winter to avert more accumulation of the farmers' problems."