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Growing demand for Lebanon's avocados offers promising prospects for farmers

Lebanon's export of avocados has grown remarkably, achieving significant expansion through heightened exportation efforts that have embraced safety regulations like international standards and certification in farming, fertilizing and marketing.
Thurayya, 28, inspects her avocado trees in a village south of Beirut, on November 22, 2021.

BEIRUT — Avocado farming in Lebanon has grown extensively in the past decade, making it possible to export to important global markets like the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Germany and parts of Eastern Europe.

Lebanon's agricultural industry has faced a setback of $2.5 billion in revenue caused by the cross-border Israel-Hezbollah conflict that has been raging since October, economy and trade minister Amin Salam told reporters on the sidelines of the World Trade Organization's conference in Abu Dhabi last month.

The sector had been suffering since the 2019 financial crisis, characterized by inflation, currency devaluation and political instability. The depreciation of the Lebanese pound has increased the costs of agricultural products such as seeds, fertilizers and machinery, making farming increasingly challenging.

Despite these challenges, the country enjoyed a jump in revenue from avocado exports from 40 tons in 2020 to 1,000 tons in 2023, according to Hussein Abou Yehia, an agriculture engineer at the Lebanon Industry Value Chain Development project aimed at promoting the local agricultural sector, and an avocado expert and land owner based in Lebanon.

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