Board of Trustees meet with Lebanese President

Published Date
November 02, 2018
Published by
ICARDA Communication Team
ICARDA works with partners to pursue science-based solutions to meet the agricultural development needs (Photo: ICARDA)
ICARDA works with partners to pursue science-based solutions to meet the agricultural development needs (Photo: ICARDA)

Beirut, November 2 – ICARDA's board members and senior leadership visited President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun to discuss the cooperation between ICARDA and Lebanon. The meeting took place during the 63rd meeting of ICARDA board in Lebanon.

President Aoun iterated the importance of the cooperation between Lebanon and ICARDA, which dates back to 1977. He emphasized readiness to assist ICARDA, commending ICARDA’s efforts to improve the quality and productivity of agricultural crops. President Aoun also mentioned the importance of water to produce food and animal feed. Efforts to improve water efficiency in Lebanon could have a transformational effect for the entire region.

Margret Thalwitz, ICARDA's Board Chair, thanked the president for supporting ICARDA in Lebanon. ICARDA relocated its headquarters to Lebanon in 2012 due to the conflict in Aleppo in Syria, the other host country. "But we never left Lebanon," Thalwitz said. ICARDA pursues science-based solutions to meet the national agricultural development needs in Lebanon through partnerships and collaborative research activities.

Thalwitz also thanked for the support from the Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute and Michel Afram, LARI’s director general, for hosting ICARDA in Terbol and Kfardan Stations and for ongoing collaboration. All of Lebanon’s wheat seeds are produced by LARI using ICARDA varieties, explained Afram, who was also present. More than 30 new high-yielding varieties have been released over the past four decades, including bread wheat, durum wheat, barley, chickpea, lentil, faba bean, and forage legumes. ICARDA and LARI also work together on water management, forages, small ruminants, and genetic resources.

Additionally, ICARDA maintains extended partnerships with the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture and the American University of Beirut.

Thalwitz presented President Aoun with a folder containing recent ICARDA publications as a token of appreciation.

Click here to learn more about ICARDA's work in Lebanon.