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September 20, 2010
Insect destroys Chouf's mountain tomatoes

Insect destroys Chouf's mountain tomatoes

CHOUF: An unusual insect has destroyed over 80 percent of mountain tomato crops in the Chouf, and farmers are complaining the Agriculture Ministry is not doing enough to tackle it.
The bug, which appeared during the summer and is believed by local farmers to be a product of the unusually hot weather, has been threatening the harvest of mountain tomatoes – a type of Lebanese tomato which is bigger than other breeds and is grown toward the end of summer.
The insect was dubbed “the black butterfly” by local farmers, who said the damage it is causing is tremendous.
Barouk farmer Ramez Zahreddine told The Daily Star that over 80 percent of this year’s crop has been destroyed and the insect is continuing to cause damage. “It starts by eating away at the leaves and then infiltrates the fruit and lays its eggs deep inside the plant … It’s multiplying quickly because of the weather,” he said.
Farmers are struggling to control the insect because of its fast movement and reproduction, but also because of a lack of pesticides.
Only one type of insect repellent is currently available, but farmers claim it is not effective. They have asked the Agriculture Ministry to intervene and provide the necessary chemicals

“This is one of the most dangerous problems we’ve encountered in Lebanon … This is a test for the ministry,” said farmer Toufiq Abu Alwan.
arvesting mountain tomatoes is the main source of livelihood for many in the Chouf.
Hassan Halawi said he has invested LL27 million into cultivating mountain tomatoes this year but has only earned LL 5 million back

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lebanon,food safety:problems and solutios   September 8, 2010
lebanon,food safety:problems and solutios
In a study done in 2009, many important results and conclusions were made. Here is some of what was talked about: >>>> Most commonly surveyed food and water-borne diseases in Lebanon are the following: -Brucellosis
              -Hydatic Cyst
              -Food Poisoning
              -Parasitic Worms
              -Typhoid Fever
              -Hepatitis A Virus
The Lebanese food laws and regulations and existing food inspection activities were studied. And data was mainly collected from Ministries.
-Results showed that:
-Laws are far from being complete or up to date
-Lack of coordination among different bodies
-Overlap in duties is confusing to consumers and producer
-No scheduled control of quality and safety of food products is undertaken for local products nor for imported products
-Many production units are supplying the market without any control
-Standards for food products are being presently developed (LIBNOR)
-Safety rules and technical guidelines for food products including GHP, GMP and HACCP are starting to gain inertia
-The Lebanese food manufacturing sector:
- lacks modern technology and equipment
- use old equipment with few employees
- are mostly aware of the need to implement HACCP
-No possibility of food tracing. Tractability facilitates withdrawal of foods
-Evident lack of education at all levels
-Minimal involvement of the academic sector in the existing food safety system.
-Officials then introduced The National Food Safety Day (January 26) with the theme: “It Is Your Right To Know What You Are Eating”. There were also “Consumer Awareness Activities”, which had the objectives of highlighting the importance of food safety relative to:
-safe food production
-promotion and protection of public health
-safe food handling (Farm to Fork)
-importance of newly developed Food Law
-instruction to housewives on safe food handling at Home.