CIHEAM Zaragoza starts a cooperation project in Lebanon

CIHEAM Zaragoza has initiated the development cooperation project "OLIB", which aims to strengthen the theoretical and practical knowledge of olive growing and olive oil technology of agricultural cooperatives, farmers, advisors and technicians in the olive sector in southern Lebanon. The agronomic management of olive groves for higher yields and new strategies to cope with climate change are some of the central themes of the program, which is expected to have a positive impact on the local economy.

The activities of the project, financed by the Diputación Provincial de Zaragoza, will be structured through the women's cooperative in the Lebanese town of Deir Mimas, which will become a reference actor in the area as an example of good practices in increasing efficiency and improving olive grove conservation. In this way, the project will help to make visible the work of Lebanese women farmers in a conflict zone and their contribution to the economic and environmental sustainability of Mediterranean food systems.

The training program of the "OLIB" project will be given by Spanish experts with experience in this area of Lebanon, one of the 13 countries that make up the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM). With the implementation of the project, CIHEAM Zaragoza takes another step forward in its commitment to rural women, sustainable development and peace in the Mediterranean.

"This project adds to a wide range of activities in olive growing and olive oil technology that we carry out at CIHEAM Zaragoza with the aim of promoting sustainable agri-food development in the Mediterranean region," said Raúl Compés, CIHEAM Zaragoza director. "In this case, we will create a meeting space and a tool for knowledge transfer directly in the field, focusing on women producers as agents of change in rural areas," he added.

The one-year project has the collaboration of the Ministry of Defense and the Conference of University Centers of Agri-food and Forestry Engineering, whose representative is José Casanova, Professor of the Department of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Environment of the Higher Polytechnic School of Huesca of the University of Zaragoza.

"OLIB will continue and reinforce the impact of the Olive Oil Mill Program, through which members of Spanish universities have shared their knowledge with farmers from various municipalities in southern Lebanon under the aegis of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).