The European Union Delegation to Egypt

Support to Olive and Bee Keeping Cooperatives in Lebanon

10/11/2020 - 13:24
Agriculture and Food Safety

The project aims to enhance the capacity of cooperatives as key stakeholders in promoting inclusive and sustainable growth in the honey and olive production sectors.


  • Budget: € 800,000  (€ 600,000 EU contribution)
  • Location: Lebanon: North (Akkar), South (Hasbaya- Marjayoun and Tyre)
  • Date of project: January 2017 – February 2020
  • Implementing Partner: Leading: ACTED. Implementing partners: SHIELD in the South; Akkar Network for Development (A.N.D) in the North

Cooperatives represent one of the largest civil society actors in the world. They also represent a strategic opportunity for the development of the agro-food sector in Lebanon. Cooperatives can help achieve economies of scale, secure better negotiation power for farmers and ensure efficient logistics for the distribution of commodities.

Agricultural cooperatives have historically played a crucial role in Lebanon, as important platforms for promoting income generation for vulnerable farmers. They also offer the opportunity for farmers to engage on common issues in the agricultural sector and advocate for their interests to the national government institutes such as the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA).

However, Lebanese cooperatives face many barriers including low internal capacity and poor financial processes, lack of engagement towards institutional entities and of lack of skilled members engaged in the marketing and creation of private sector networks.

These challenges, along with the lack of a comprehensive national agricultural strategy, are hindering the sustainable development of cooperatives, making them fragile value chain actors.


  • Enhance the capacity of cooperatives as key stakeholders in promoting inclusive and sustainable growth in the honey and olive production sectors, through networking and multi-stakeholder engagement


  • 53 Agriculture cooperatives working in the following value chains:
  • Beekeeping
  • Olive
  • Food processing
  • 6 Agriculture centers located in the areas of intervention (Hasbaya, Marjayoun, Tyre, Aabdeh, Bire and Hrar)


Cooperatives Capacity Building

  • Technical Trainings: to help improve the  production and productivity of Honey and Olive oil
  • Managerial Trainings: including the following topics:
    • Cooperative management
    • Organizational, financial and institutional trainings
    • Needs assessment
    • Proposal writing
    • 5 Technical Exchanges days/visits conducted.

Provision of Financial Support through Sub-grants

  • Sub-grants/seed funding ranging between 4,500 and 9,000 USD provided to 37 cooperatives
  • Weekly coaching sessions for over 70 members of cooperatives conducted over 9 months on compliance, financial and procurement procedures

Linkages with Private Sector- Increasing consumer awareness of local products available

  • Facilitation of the participation of cooperatives in 6 high level regional and national fairs and events

Developing and implement advocacy and awareness plans

  • 4 Community of Practices on Cooperatives Management conducted with all cooperatives
  • 2 National Workshops: “Role of cooperatives beyond service delivery” and “Cooperatives: Inclusive Growth for Lebanon’s communities”
  • 6 advocacy and awareness videos


  • Improved productivity and sustainability of honey and olive production
  • Improved capacity of cooperatives as well as MoA extension offices to advocate, lobby and engage meaningfully with public and private sector actors through creation of mutually beneficial partnerships
  • Improved services available from cooperatives for beneficiaries, to increase their access to markets and create value-added goods
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