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Our Initiative in Lebanon

“Regenerative agriculture provides answers to the soil crisis, the food crisis, the health crisis, the climate crisis, and the crisis of democracy.”  

Vandana Shiva - Food activist - Author.

Wall graffiti in Lebanon that says Fuck the System.

Beirut, October 2019 Thawra-Revolution

People in Lebanon walking through an abandoned building with graffiti on the wall spelling Revolution and a drawing of flipped finger.

Beirut, October 2019 Thawra-Revolution

The Crisis Before August 4th, 2020

In 2019, the UNFAO 2020 Early Warning Action Report Lebanon is listed “On Watch" because of its economic crisis. Since then, the government monetary policy imploded in 2020 as falling public confidence has seen the supply of US dollars in the country dry up. Now, "hit by its worst economic crisis in modern history, there are fears the country is about to repeat the 1915-18 famine."(The Telegraph) The Lebanese are bartering possessions for food. "A quarter of the Lebanese population is in danger of dropping beneath the food poverty line in a country that relies on imported food and has little domestic agriculture."(Ahram)


Lebanon plunges into darkness with power outages that last as long as 23 hours in some regions. Generators used as backups and turned off at night. "We cannot sleep it is so hot" says our consultant Samer Salloum. Politicians with links to private generators are profiting, adding fuel to an explosive situation.

Face of woman with red scarf against backdrop of demonstration crowds in Beirut, during October 2019 Revolution.

Beirut, October 2019 Thawra-Revolution

Night shot of Beirut during power outage, with few building lights.

Beirut, July 2020

The Problem

One of the key contributors to the Lebanese crisis is “the current degenerative agricultural system and the high cost of production disturbing the balance of food security.”(ISSN) The misuse of costly chemical inputs, that is responsible for driving farmers into debt, is also undermining soil health—reducing pest resilience, and poisoning groundwater as well as the Lebanese people.


"Approximately 5.6 billion pounds of pesticides are used worldwide. In many developing countries programs to control exposures are limited or non-existent. It has been estimated that as many as 25 million agricultural workers worldwide experience unintentional pesticide poisonings each year."(NCBI) One of the common reasons for cancer in Lebanon is from agricultural toxic contamination in drinking water and irrigation runoff. "The farmers, who use the products, mix them, apply and repeat application without being fully aware of actual subsequent hazards that often lead to death. Victims of the phenomenon are numerous in Lebanon.”(ISSN)

In a recent news article, "agriculture consultant Mohanad Dabbagh told The Daily Star that among several measures, one would be to offer more guidance to new small farmers on how to regenerate their soil, which has often been long abandoned or degraded by chemical pesticides. 'If they received proper guidance now, they may be able to make a good crop next year.'” Dabbagh said.(Daily Star)

A tenuous financial crisis was further aggravated by the Covid19 pandemic, the blast of August 4th 2020, the war in Ukraine, with its impact on grain production, and the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, as well as at the southern border with Hezbollah. Currently, the current economic and financial collapse is ranked among the worst economic crises globally since the mid-nineteenth century. Lebanon has been spiraling towards a precipitous decline, with over 80% of the Lebanese have reportedly been pushed towards poverty, 36% at the extreme poverty line, without a clear path of rectification from the government. Despite these obstacles a movement has a been expanding since 2019 among its citizens to grow their own foods, yet effective and accessible information in this field is scarce. Farmers unable to afford the high cost of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, are especially hungry for solutions so far out of their reach.

Scarabée Regenerative is here to add its voice to Lebanon's regenerative agriculture initiatives and help by sharing its knowledge, as described below by Our Solution.

A man standing high on wall ladder inside an abandoned building, hanging a Lebanese flag while his friend below looks up.

Beirut, October 2019 Thawra-Revolution

Silhouette painting of man holding child’s hand on panel hiding construction site in Beirut.

Our Solution

We are currently helping five farmers transition away from conventional farming practices to Regenerative farming. These free consultations are being provided by The Green Van and its prototype farm will also host workshops with on-site demonstrations. We also offer our services to private landowners who wish to develop new projects or transition existing ones to a healthier agriculture.

In time, pending additional funding, our Regenerative Agriculture website and social media presence, will provide resources, links to organizations, relevant studies and Arabic video tutorials. Farmers and citizens alike can learn regenerative farming principles and practices such as: Agroforestry, conservation tillage, cover crops, multiple crop rotation, animal integration, in-farm fertility and better low-carbon farm management.

Rows of tall vegetables growing in a green house.

The Green Van Farm, 2020 location, Zefta

Our Impact

We want to help the Lebanese grow nutritious foods in abundance. Each successful farm project will set an example, helping to convince neighboring farmers to adopt our practices and join a thriving farming community. Each example will include detailed progress reports and in time, cost-gain financial data. This will help users scale their approach and help us track an improvement return-on-investment. As the program develops we will add data analytic tools that quantify hits, testimonials, and before and after videos documenting success.

From samll farms to rooftop gardens, regenerative agriculture can benefit any scale of planting and will provide the affordable nutritious foods that are desperately needed. With more people fed, a major contributing factor to Lebanon's civil unrest will begin to be addressed.

"The land of Lebanon itself, is a fruit and vegetable paradise, and this should become the trademark of the new Lebanon. To achieve this, Lebanon, must engage in a determined approach to clean up its environment and to rehabilitate the soil which has been destroyed by decades of chemical use."(Tracy Chamoun, author, diplomat, political activist.)

Let's bring fertility back to the Fertile Crescent.

Rows of vegetables between fruit trees.
Close up of figs hanging from branches of fig tree.

Les Racines du Ciel Permaculture Farm - Lassa

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