Apple harvesting has kicked off this year amid a stifling economic and financial meltdown, compounded by severe power outages and shortage in gasoline and diesel. This situation has paralyzed the movement of transport along with refrigeration.
The Saudi Arabian decision that bans the entrance of agricultural products to or through its territories have dealt a fatal blow to the sector. Four months after the decision, the Kingdom still prohibits the entry of agricultural products and foodstuff into its lands as a result of the attempts that have been foiled to smuggle drugs in a pomegranate shipment.
The majority of apple farmers have borrowed funds in advance to purchase fertilizers, pesticides, and agricultural materials, in light of the economic crisis accompanied with devaluation and the deteriorating currency. Farmers rely on this season to market their produce and export it in order to bring fresh dollars, but will the appropriate climate be secured for the farmers to export their produce?
The question that arises today is will the government and concerned authorities take the required measures and resolve these hurdles that threaten the farmers and ban them from marketing their produce? The danger of surrender looms on the horizon, and will lead to more impoverishment and displacement of the Lebanese families and force them to sell their lands at the cheapest prices.