NNA - Agriculture Minister Abbas Murtada stated Monday that "since he assumed his ministerial duties, he vowed that the ministry would be in the service of society."
In this context, and speaking in an interview with "Radio Lebanon" this morning, Murtada indicated that the import of potatoes has been delayed until the local produce is consumed. "As part of my follow-up, I contacted the Lebanese farmers and the Egyptian side, and requested that the import be delayed until February 20 to give the Lebanese farmer an opportunity to sell his produce," he said. "The Egyptian side cooperated with us, and no truck loaded with potatoes has left Egypt till now. In this way, we would be protecting the Beqaa and Akkari farmers," he added.
However, Murtada pointed out that "the price of local potatoes may reach 4000 LBP per kilogram, if some farmers continue to protest the import of potatoes from the Egyptian market, according to the agreement between the Agriculture Ministry and Egypt."
He added: "There is an agreement between Lebanon and Egypt, namely that we import Egyptian potatoes and export to Egypt our local produce of grapes, apples, cherries and other fruits. Therefore, any cancellation of said agreement would threaten the Lebanese fruit season."
Meanwhile, Murtada stressed on ongoing communication with all concerned sides to protect the farmer and the consumer at the same time. "This is our duty," he affirmed.
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