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In 1997, the farming sector was still facing a fierce foreign competition, from Syria especially, favored by the policy of the open door. Syrian production, which benefits from a cheap workforce, agricultural taxes granted by the State to farmers at cost price and exemption of customs taxes, is marketed in Lebanon at even lower prices than libanon costs. Besides, the part of this sector in budgetary expenditure has been inferior to 1% for several years, while its infrastructures, especially in the irrigation sector, are falling into decay, and represent a factor of disinvestment.
From the financing point of view, this sector has to be satisfied with credits that commercial banks accept to grant, for want of other sources. In 1997, credits represented only 1.48 % of the debts of these banks to the economy. Moreover, the working population of this sector is still the only one in Lebanon which does not benefit from social welfare. For these multiple reasons, the frequency of desertion in this sector is increasing.
Concerning breeding, it represents only 20% of the incomes of agriculture. Contrary to the vegetable production, breeding has been less affected by political events. Besides, it suffers from deplorable sanitary conditions. The lack of an appropriate veterinarian service and the low technical knowledge of the persons in charge of the health of the herds is a real handicap (few trustworthy veterinarians).

Agricultural population (in thousands)

Total population

3 708

Agricultural population


Non agricultural population

3 603

Source : 2004, FAOSTAT

Land use

Cultivated surface area

329 000

Irrigated surface area

104 000

Number of farms


Number of tractors

8 300

Source : 2003, FAOSTAT

Production indicators

Main crops

Product Production (in thousands) Harvested surface (1000 ha) Yield by hectare (kg/ha)
Potatoes 500 20 25000
Oranges 230 11 20909
Tomatoes 230 4 58974
Cucumbers and gherkins 160 4 42105
Grapes 125 14 8929

Source : 2005, FAOSTAT


Specie Headcount (in thousands)
Chickens 35000
Goats 430
Sheep 340
Beehives 123
Cattle 90

Source : 2005, FAOSTAT

Fishing (in metric tons)

Shellfish, mollusks and cephalopods Saltwater fish Freshwater fish
105 3 418 370

Source : 2005, FAOSTAT