EN | DE | FR
Donate Now

Start-up support for women entrepreneurs in agricultural production

"I used to knead and shape the dough by hand. I only had a small gas stove, which limited my work," reports Jacqueline Raad. The 52-year-old from the village of Kobayat, in the Akkar region in the north of Lebanon, produces baked goods and confectionery that her customers collect directly from her home. The mother of three earns around 200 dollars a month from her business. With this income, she supports her husband and finances the education of her children, two of whom are already at university and one of whom is still at school. 

The situation is similar for 50-year-old Saada Sahmarani from Dawra Akkar. As a small farmer, her husband does not earn enough to support the family and pay for the youngest child's university education. To earn some extra money for the family and her son's education, Saada sells cheese and dairy products that she produces herself.

Strengthening the local economy

In Lebanon, people are suffering the consequences of a complex economic and political crisis. Around three million people are currently affected by high levels of food insecurity and many families need to earn extra income to secure their livelihoods. To address these challenges, Malteser International, together with its local partner organization, the Order of Malta Lebanon, is supporting local food production and processing through the establishment and operation of so-called Agro-Humanitarian Centers. 

These centers consist of a greenhouse, training and office buildings as well as a water treatment plant and solar panels that ensure completely self-sufficient operation. Local smallholders can use the greenhouses to sow and grow local agricultural crops. In addition, the participating farmers receive technical advice and can take part in training courses on the production or marketing of their products. At the "Kobayat Agro-Humanitarian Center" in the Akkar region in northern Lebanon, women-run agricultural enterprises receive special support in the form of equipment for their small businesses.

Important start-up aid for self-employment

Sadaa and Jacqueline also received new equipment for their farms as part of the support program for female agricultural entrepreneurs. The new mixer makes Jaqueline's work much easier and Saadaa can expand her business with new products thanks to a dryer set that includes a digital scale, a solar dryer and storage containers. 

39-year-old Alia Abdallah from the village of Sendyaneh earns money for the medication and treatment for her 14-year-old daughter, who lives with a disability, by producing mouneh - traditionally preserved herbs, fruit and vegetables that are an important part of Lebanese cuisine. 
She received new tools for making sauces and preserved food through the funding program, including a gas burner, a strainer, a digital thermometer, a digital scale and a 70-liter soup pot with a lid. "With the equipment I've received, I can make and sell mouneh for my family without having to borrow equipment from others," she says gratefully. "The help has paved the way for my own business, for which I thank you from the bottom of my heart," Jacqueline adds.

© November 2023

This year's gift for her? Solidarity and support for women and mothers in need!

Nothing works without women. They work, provide, protect, organize, care, love, comfort - no matter where in the world, women and mothers are the backbone of almost all communities. Nevertheless, they are disadvantaged in many areas of life worldwide, especially in the Global South, and are particularly affected by social inequality.

In our projects, we are actively committed to women in order to promote a fairer society. Let's work together to ensure that women around the world lead safe, healthy and self-determined lives. Find out more about how you can help women in need this Christmas.

Read more
Support our projects in Lebanon with your donation!
Donate now!