From Hazard to Harvest

In Lebanon, DCA is transforming contaminated mine-infected fields to healthy farming land, emphasizing sustainable agro-ecology.

The Issue

In the Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) sector DCA is recognised as one of the main implementing partners in Lebanon. The objective of these HMA activities is to save lives by clearing and releasing land that is identified as being contaminated with mines and unexploded ordnances. Today, these areas are safe for farmers to use, but there’s a catch. Many communities lack the funds to invest effectively, leaving vast potential untapped. DCA Lebanon is implementing this project directly while working on building the governance and administration capacity of the local emerging NGO – AgriMovement. 

The Project

DCA has identified two villages – Bmehray in Mt. Lebanon and Al-Bustan in South Lebanon – and piloted the project in them in 2023. DCA program and HMA teams organised field visits, village assessments and community discussions, that involved all relevant stakeholders in 2022 and this enabled the team to thoroughly assess the situation in the villages and design the project.  

DCA is planning to link its HMA work with its broad humanitarian and development work. Such an approach involves designing and implementing livelihoods and agriculture programmes that tackle the farmers and national/government institutions issues and needs while increasing productive capacities. Thus, minimizing social, financial, and natural capital crises, and helping them cope with these multiple crises. In other words, mine action should be seen as a critical factor in restoring livelihood capacities and building resilience. The objective of this project will be to empower marginalized and vulnerable communities by supporting the agricultural sector in South and Mount Lebanon and improving the lives of farmers and growers through adopting sustainable and agro-ecological approach by linking the cleared mine lands to agricultural restoration while promoting social cohesion and its impact on the entourage and the environment. We aim to improve crops production and access to services and or/cash to address food insecurity, livelihoods, and the resilience of vulnerable communities affected by Lebanon’s compounded crises specifically in areas cleared from mines and cluster munitions. 

The Change

Our project is a beacon of change, fostering knowledge and prosperity in farming communities. By embracing sustainable agro-ecological practices, we equip individuals with the wisdom to increase their income while reducing reliance on costly chemicals. Through sustainable practices, farmers experience a tangible boost in their livelihoods, as lower expenses translate into higher earnings. However, we don’t stop at knowledge transfer. We believe in a collaborative approach. With farmers at the forefront, we support initiatives that directly cater to their unique needs, ensuring sustainable growth in agriculture. This community-driven change provides the help and support necessary for farmers to thrive. 

The Results

To date, 210  farmers have been empowered through our training. Moreover, we have offered 12 mining victims a fresh start in the world of farming. The impact of our training is clear: 100% of the farmers now strongly believe in the potential of these new sustainable farming methods. Yet, it’s not without its challenges. Approximately 40% expressed concerns about access to financial and material resources. In addition to that, 80 farmers have received emergency cash assistance after the start of the conflict in the South, responding to their direct needs.

Thematic Relevance

The work is linked to the theme of “Build.” The project aims to enhance social-economic development in cleared areas after HMA by integrating mine action efforts with broader humanitarian and development initiatives. The focus is on building livelihoods, addressing farmers’ and institutional needs, and increasing productive capacities. By minimizing social, financial, and natural capital crises, the project strives to contribute to rebuilding and strengthening communities, portraying a thematic alignment with the idea of building a sustainable and resilient environment.

About this project

Title: Reclaiming De-mined Agricultural Land for Social Economic Development

Period: 20. January 2022 – 31. December 2024  

Local Partner: Agricultural Movement in Lebanon (AgriMovement)

Amount: DKK 797,790.00 

Outreach: 200 persons


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