Olives harvest in Lebanon
  • There is a district in Southern Lebanon, called Hasbaya,where a large amount of oil is produced. However, an important part of the product remains unsold due to its low quality and high costs. Moreover the production waste is poured into the Hasbani River or into agricultural land without being disposed of. This bad habit creates an unsustainable environmental situation in the face of little or no profitable economic activity.

    The project aims to improve the production efficiency, to make a stable access to the domestic and international markets and to reduce the environmental impact.

  • 587 olive growers will achieve production efficiency

    Two women cooperatives will receive technical support

The quantity of oil produced is high, but the quality is poor

The climate in Southern of Lebanon is mild and the ground is perfect to grow olives. However, the production suffers from the difficult conditions in which people in the region live even after the end of the Israeli occupation.

«The district of Hasbaya – explains Davide Raffa, CELIM Director– was occupied for years by Israelian army, which had turned it in a buffer zone to avoid sudden attacks on its country. This occupation isolated the area and did not help its development. The area continues to be isolated. It appears that it is not even part of Lebanon. There are no real agricultural policies to encourage the growth of the olive sector and oil production».

Financial support and a technical assistance are needed to improve the quality and quantity of the production. The lack of standards that should be set by the government is one of the main challenges that the local olive oil sector has yet to face; this makes the market vulnerable to the onslaught of cheap or counterfeit olive oils. In addition, the olive oil marketing and distribution network is weak, which prevents farmers from selling their products at the right prices. This causes a surplus of olive oil at the end of the harvest which can not be disposed of even through export.

The main problems of the olive oil supply chain are:

  • the poor quality of the oil compared to current sales prices
  • a non-competitive product on the markets
  • the environmental unsustainability of the olive oil supply chain characterized by large quantity of solid and liquid waste, which are then poured out in the Hasbani River or into agricultural land, without being disposed of
Olive harvest in Lebanon

The project is carried out with the support of Ingegneria senza Frontiere and Chico Mendes Onlus and, as local partners, El Khalil Foundation and Lebanon Agricultural Research Institute. The specific goal is to improve the conditions of 2,935 farmers in the rural areas of Southern Lebanon. In particular the project works with a dozen of mills in Nabatiye Districtc.

The project has three main expected results:

  • to reach production efficiency of olive growers through better value for money
  • to promote a stable access to domestic and international market
  • to reduce of the environmental impact (eliminating non-recyclable solid waste and vegetable liquid) and increase the control system on illegal spills
  • My name is Marco Aurelio and I'm CELIM representative in Lebanon

From a technical point of view, the project aims to strengthen the abilities of the cooperatives to make a product with quality standards that respect international parameters. This standards will be kept by modernizing the equipment and techniques available to farmers.

Olive growers will be asked to participate financially in the payment of the qualitative analysis of the oil as sign of commitment and future sustainability. Local institutions will not be asked for contributions and they will benefit from the structures that will be built in the area.

  • Project name
    Olive growers and cooperatives of Hasbaya for a quality label

    Project representative
    Marco Aurelio Benedetti, celim@celimlb.org


  • Date
    October 2019/ January 2023

    – El Khalil Foundation
    – Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute
    – Ingegneria senza Frontiere
    – Chico Mendes Onlus



Support the activities

  • 20 €

    you finance the training of peasant women

  • 80 €

    you finance oil quality checks

  • 150 €

    you finance the improvement of the control systems against abusive polluters

  • 300 €

    you contribute to the reclamation of the river Hasbani

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