American Univesity of Beirut

Toward a Cleaner, Greener Future: FAFS and FAO working together

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is sponsoring FAFS faculty as they work with West Beqaa farmers to create a cleaner, more useful fertilizer. Faculty toured the potato demo plot at AREC to observe how this fertilizer creates less wastewater, n​eeds less herbicide and pesticide, creates larger yields, and carries economic advantage to farmers.

From a single plot at AREC, our FAFS team produced 5 tons of high quality potato tubers: the most received from all treatments. These results were not limited to our own demo plot: eight out of nine farmers found that they also had generated a larger yield than with ‘normal’ fertilizer. Dr. Isam Bashour, Dr. Mustapha Haidar and Plant Science master student Bashar Berro gave presentations to 50 farmers from across the Beqaa in which they described the importance of the transition to healthier, more sustainable potato production.

The presentations were intended to share information, so that farmers better understand the project and take their new knowledge back to improve their own farms. Based on the outcomes of using the new fertilizer, Dr. Bashour stated the new goal: to grow leafy greens, such as lettuce, and then move on enhance production of all those crops within the region that could benefit. FAFS congratulates the hardworking professors and farmers on their success in working towards a greener, cleaner future; we are excited to see what comes next from these crops!

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