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Agriculture Research and Development

Speeches Shim

Food safety is a key constraint to the competitiveness of Lebanon’s agriculture sector. It hinders hundreds of small-, medium- and large-scale agro-food producers and processors from providing products that meet international standards required for export to other countries.

Agriculture Research & Development in Lebanon
Saida Agro Food Development Center Laboratory staff incubating samples using USAID-funded equipment during the testing of food products.

To address this issue, USAID worked with the Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Zahle, Tripoli and Saida to upgrade the certification, capacity and quality of three Lebanese agricultural laboratories and agricultural product development plants. Each of these three laboratories is now ISO 17025 certified enabling agro-producers and processors to test new products, ensure product safety and receive an internationally recognized seal of approval.

Our impacts in this sector include:

  • Agricultural product development labs now conduct an average of 750 tests a month. As a result, international exports from Lebanon with food safety certification increased by $71 million, a remarkable 1,416 percent increase between 2009 and 2011.
  • Three food-testing laboratories and product-development plants in Saida, Zahle and Tripoli were awarded ISO 17025 certification, an accreditation that shows they have met high-level international testing, calibration and organizational competency standards.