ICARDA’s outgoing Director General, Dr. Mahmoud Solh paid his last official visit to the Lebanese Prime Minister, H.E. Tammam Salam, September 27, and introduced Mr. Aly Abousabaa as ICARDA’s incoming Director General who will assume his responsibilities on 16 October 2016. Dr. Solh thanked the Lebanese Government’s longstanding support to ICARDA for the last 40 years, particularly for generously extending the country’s resources to assist ICARDA with its decentralization.
The visiting ICARDA delegation included Dr. Kamel Shideed, Assistant Director General - International Cooperation, Dr. Hassan Machlab, Lebanon Country Manager, and Ms. Randa Masaad on behalf of Dr. Michel Afram from Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute (LARI).
H. E. Salam acknowledged the significant contribution of Dr. Solh to agricultural development in Lebanon and the region. He also welcomed Mr. Abousabaa and assured ICARDA of continued support from the Lebanese government.
Earlier in the day, Dr. Solh and Mr. Abousabaa also met with Lebanon’s Agriculture Minister, H.E. Akram Chehayeb and briefly talked about the agricultural challenges currently facing Lebanon and ICARDA’s role in addressing them.
Over the past four years, ICARDA’s research partnership with LARI has expanded at Terbol Station in the Bekaa plain, with new and shared spaces for laboratories, offices, greenhouses, and livestock keeping facilities. New laboratories on Seed Health, Double Haploids for Wheat Breeding, Pathology and Virology were built to continue ICARDA’s crop improvement research.
The recent opening of ICARDA’s new Genebank facility at Terbol, on September 29, further attested to the growing partnership with Lebanon, and the country’s important role in ICARDA’s global mission of food and nutrition security, and sustainable management of natural resources.