"Growing Dannieh": enhancing agricultural practices to underpin socio-economic inclusion and development

Ongoing- Dannieh Union of Municipalities is a strongly agricultural territory and has the advantage to count with water resources. However, the sector lacks professionalization and thus efficiency. Enhancing the agricultural practices is therefore key to the socio-economic development of the territory and its resilience. The action sought to increase this capacity strongly engaging the Union of Municipalities and key social actors.

The action has supported the Union in building capacity to secure local and inclusive fresh food production and supply within the territory.

CHALLENGES ADDRESSED

  • Severe socio-economic and financial crisis resulting on very high levels of unemployment and critical increase of poverty and social vulnerability.
  • Escalation of the price of food, especially of fresh products.
  • Return of young population to rural areas because of the high costs of urban life and lack of labour opportunities.
  • Un-professionalised agricultural practices and lack of skills on the production and marketing of homemade secondary products and complementary activities as raising chickens and honeybees.
  • Lack of awareness about the potential of agriculture as an instrument for social cohesion.

 MAIN OBJECTIVES

Enhancing the role of municipalities on the activation of local food security and social inclusion through building capacity for urban and peri-urban agriculture production especially addressing vulnerable population.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

1.          Supporting the Union of Municipalities of Dannieh as promoter of opportunities to increase food security in the area

2.          Providing local population with tools to address the most pressing issues affecting agricultural practices in the territory 

3.          Instrumentalizing urban and peri-urban agriculture as a vector of social cohesion

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Environmentally sound practices in urban and peri-urban agriculture are an efficient instrument to address challenges as local and inclusive fresh food production and supply, economic development, climate change mitigation and adaptation, social inclusion, improved management of waste and water and participatory practices among many others.

Dannieh Union of Municipalities is a strongly agricultural territory and has the advantage to count with water resources. However, the sector lacks professionalization and thus efficiency. Enhancing the agricultural practices is therefore key to the socio-economic development of the territory and its resilience.

The action sought to increase this capacity strongly engaging the Union of Municipalities and key social actors as the Youth Dialogue Association, one of the local Women Association and an agriculture cooperative through a series of 19 face-to-face training sessions to address the various problems encountered by the sector in the region. 50 selected candidates participated at the trainings highlighting good agricultural practices (15 sessions, 5 of them on the field), marketing and distribution of agricultural products (3 sessions) and the potential of agriculture as an instrument for social cohesion and collaborative economies (1 session) including a step-by-step guide for the launching of such initiatives. During the closing ceremony, with presence of the head of the Mennieh-Dannieh district and representation of the Ministry for Agriculture of Lebanon, all trainees received a certificate and a basket of seeds and agricultural materials. The key elements of the training have been published in a booklet for participants and for further dissemination. A social media campaign and the resulting training and communication materials served to widespread the experience and raise awareness on the need to reinforce this strategic economic sector.

The continuity of the efforts will be assured by the long term technical advice that the local agriculture cooperative has committed to deliver to all trainees engaged in the action.

IMPACT AND RESULTS 

  • 50 local citizens trained, 10 of them women
  • Training materials including a booklet with most relevant topics
  • 50 baskets containing seeds and agricultural material distributed to trainees
  • Awareness raised through and social media campaign and 2 videos produced
  • 4 letters of intent for the engagement on urban and peri-urban agriculture with a social perspective.

PROJECT TYPE: Social Cohesion / Economic Development 

PROMOTER: MedCities and Dannieh Union of Municipalities of with the support of the Catalan Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona.

COLLABORATORS:  Dannieh Youth Dialogue Organisation, Sfireh Women Association,  Cooperative Association for Agriculture and Irrigation in Dannieh.

DATES: From January to May 2021