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Lakkis from Mid Bekaa: Agriculture was not given priority in the State’s economic policies

Minister of Agriculture, Hassan al-Lakkis, considered Sunday that the agricultural sector in Lebanon has not been accorded priority over the past decades within the economic policies set by the successive governments that assumed responsibility in running the State's affairs.

"There is approximately 6% of the total labor hand in Lebanon working in agriculture," he added regrettably, noting that this percentage reaches 25% in Akkar and Bekaa, though this sector provides 80% of the GDP of rural areas in various Lebanese provinces.

Lakkis was speaking during a meeting organized earlier today by Amal Movement at the residence of al-Nasseriah Municipality Head Fawaz al-Tarshishi, in the presence of MP's Selim Aoun and Anwar Joumaa and a number of dignitaries and municipality members from the region.

The Minister stressed the importance of meeting with agricultural unions and farmers and addressing the needs and problems facing this vital sector.

He pointed out that "the agricultural sector suffers from many obstacles, and the Ministry of Agriculture's budget is only 5%, which is very low compared to the countries of the region."

Al-Lakkis disclosed that his Ministry is working to find legal provisions that take into account the social status of farmers and help to support them in their daily-living needs, noting that efforts are also pinned on combatting smuggling of agricultural produce across the borders to protect Lebanese farmers.

"We are working to support the existing agricultural schools and to open other schools according to the needs of the areas, not for the purpose of employment, but to work for the development of advanced agriculture," indicated al-Lakkis.

Source: National News Agency