Improvement of water efficient cultivation in Lebanon
In Lebanon, like in the rest of the Middle East, water is scarce. Although rainfall is comparable with that of the Netherlands during eight months of the year, the summer months are hot and dry. Together with local companies, Wageningen University & Research will build a demonstration greenhouse including water saving techniques.
The new constructed greenhouse will be linked to the knowledge and technology level of the local growers. Now low quality ground or river water is given, rainwater collection hardly exists. Night temperatures in the Bekaa Valley are too low to grow cucumbers or tomatoes, but in summer it is too hot. Soilless culture may increase production level, but growers fear high investments. All challenges to develop an optimised greenhouse with the adaptive greenhouse concept, suitable for the local climate and the technological level of the growers. The demonstration greenhouse should encourage growers to invest a part of their earned money in new technology to increase their annual income again. Trials and extension to growers and suppliers is of great importance. Further the focus will be on labour intensive crops to increase employment in a country in which the population grew with 25% while its agricultural export market disappeared because of the Syrian war.