Pilot Tea Plantation in South Lebanon
Lebanon is well-known for its history and passion for coffee, so when a tea plantation comes into this equation, it does make you wonder. But then again, entrepreneurship and experimentation are also well-known aspects of Lebanese history and character. It was this forward-looking spirit that led the Mayor of Majdal Slim in South Lebanon to request UNIFIL’s Nepalese peacekeepers for their support.
Not long after the mayor’s request, 10 tea seedlings were planted in a field close to Majdal Slim’s municipality building. Community members and Nepalese peacekeepers hailing from one of Nepal’s well-known tea farming regions, carefully planted the seedlings using Nepalese organic planting techniques.
Majdal Slim's mayor, Ali Tamer Yassine, mentioned that tea plantation is a new initiative in the area and might bring positive economic and environmental changes to the community in the future if the pilot project succeeds. The locals present at the plantation were excited to learn about tea plantation, its potential, and ways of harvesting. While planting, the Nepalese peacekeepers explained the planting process, how to nurture the plants and the economic potential of tea farm for the local community.
According to the peacekeepers, the altitude, climate and soil of Majdal Slim have similarities to regions in Nepal and show promise that the venture could succeed. They will be visiting the pilot plantation regularly to check up on the plants and guide the locals in managing their growth.
Should the pilot project be successful, Majdal Slim’s community could start a tea plantation and create for themselves a new business and source of income. This is the hope of Mayor Yassine, who is grateful to UNIFIL’s Nepalese peacekeepers, who stand ready to support this project and the community.