For a week, the 'Almazara' programme was carried out in southern Lebanon, in which members of the Universities of Zaragoza and Extremadura made available their knowledge and support to farmers from several municipalities in the area of responsibility of the East Sector of UNIFIL, led by Spain. It is an intense programme of theoretical-practical training activities related to exploitation techniques, production and maintenance of olive-growing.
These agronomists and veterinarians from Spain gave lectures on 'olive trees and fertilisation', by José Casanova Gascón, from the University of Zaragoza, on 'cultivation and pruning', by Gonzalo Esteban Sanchez, from the University of Extremadura, on 'general concepts of olive trees', by Rodrigo Alonso Pinzón, from the University of Extremadura, on 'pest control', by Damián B. Fernandez Rodriguez from the University of Extremadura and on 'olive oil production' by Ana Christina Sánchez Gimeno, from the University of Zaragoza.
These conferences were followed by practices in which many farmers and producers from the Cooperative of the Union of Municipalities of Jabal Amel, Et Taibe, Hebbariye and Kafer Hammam, could work on the ground pruning olive trees and treating pests and diseases of the olive tree .They also had the opportunity to attend an oil tasting, in which they experienced the different qualities that can be obtained with the control of cultivation and production, and the treatment of soils with fertilizers and products that enrich and improve productivity.
The 'Almazara' programme was born in 2018 aiming to evaluate the agricultural needs south of the Litani and thus improving the agricultural techniques of the area and achieving an improvement in the local economy. It materialized through an agreement between the Ministry for Defence and different Spanish universities and with the collaboration of the Lebanese Ministry for Agriculture. In this edition, the prestigious University of Balamand is also collaborating.
With these initiatives, Spanish Armed Forces prove their support and solidarity with the Lebanese people by actively participating in the development and progress of the country and contributing to building a lasting peace in the Middle East by complying with UN Resolution 1701.