In presence of the Dutch Ambassador, LEBAGRI Innovation Day Reinforces the Confidence in Lebanese Agriculture and Its Sustainability

Bekaa — July 19, 2018. In the context of a field day labeled “LEBAGRI Innovation Day” on the grounds of its Bekaa Trial Station, the Lebanese avant-garde agricultural company ROBINSON AGRI put on display innovations in Lebanese agriculture in the areas of supply chain management, hydroponics, smart irrigation systems, and new hybrid varieties, in collaboration with the Dutch seeds breeder Rijk Zwaan.

H.E. Mr. Jan Waltmans, Ambassador of the Netherlands (Holland) to Lebanon, attended the event. In his declaration he stated that the Netherlands is the second exporter of agricultural products in the world, and that it wouldn’t be the case for such a small country were it not for its levels of innovation being at their highest. He explained his presence as transcending the commercial interests to namely support the demonstration of the Netherlands’ innovations in agriculture, and to highlight the long, strong and deep cooperation between his country and Lebanon toward ensuring increased development levels for Lebanese agriculture. The Netherlands Ambassador then announced the organization of a trade delegation from Lebanon to visit his country in October which “will be received at the adequate levels”, and invited the various actors in the Lebanese agriculture sector to contact him or the Embassy’s Commercial Attaché, Mr. Mark Zeenny, to get on board to showcase Lebanon’s innovations within the objective of boosting trade relations.

Pioneering in horticulture since several decades, ROBINSON AGRI contributed to the heightening of the quality and productivity of Lebanese crops and produce, namely in cucumber, carrots, watermelons, lettuce, tomato, eggplant, pepper, beans, etc.

On hand at LEBAGRI Innovation Day were ROBINSON AGRI’s agricultural engineers in addition to experts from its Dutch partners Rijk Zwaan, interacting with farmers and other concerned stakeholders on new seed varieties and good packaging techniques conducive to good product marketing. Notably, those seeds bear the stamp of assurance of having gone through research at ROBINSON AGRI’s Trial Stations before introduction to the Lebanese market, in order to confirm their robust disease resistance, best yield performance, and high quality across varying climate conditions.

In a related activity, key growers delighted in the opportunity given them to share their success stories with the impressive crowd of local and foreign specialists, dignitaries, agricultural faculties from Lebanon and even Holland, and members of the general public who attended the event.

Further, and as part of ROBINSON AGRI’s profile as an agricultural solutions provider, the company put on show its latest in greenhouse manufacturing, customization and technology, in addition to its state-of-the-art “Smart Irrigation” systems made up of pumps powered by solar panels equipped with sensors and electric valves.

Smart Irrigation Technology improves watering efficiency to meet specific needs. Different Smart systems such as controllers with on-site soil moisture sensors, weather based controllers, high efficient spray nozzles, and pressure regulators are brought together to produce the best water saving results. With efficient irrigation products and practices, it is absolutely possible for people to reduce outdoor water consumption by 25 percent or more without having to give up the plants, trees and gardens that add so much to our lives.

Said Nadine El Khoury, COO, ROBINSON AGRI, Upon the founding of the company nearly 50 years ago by my father Sami El Khoury, we set out on a mission to be pioneers and leaders in launching many new products and services to enhance the quality and competitiveness of the Lebanese agriculture. From the features and displays at our LEBAGRI Innovation Day, I would like to highlight the fact that all the members of the supply value chain in the sector were represented; that is, Seed Breeding Companies, Seed Distributors, Growers, Processing Companies, Packing Companies, Supermarkets, and End Consumers. In this endeavor, we were specifically able to make available a Dutch packing company to introduce new innovative ideas in the field of packaging and processing, a German Expert in supply chain management to explain the concept and encourage growers to be an effective part of the chain by offering  products with distinct identity, supermarkets with the aim to give them the chance of meeting potential vegetable suppliers, in addition to key  growers  and processers who happily shared their success stories in producing healthy watermelon as well as snacks like baby carrots, cocktail cucumber, Hydroponic “Salanova” lettuce, and vigorous spinach, in addition to other accomplishments.”

Nadine El Khoury closed by stating, “I would like to emphasize that ROBINSONAGRI’s work is never done, as we are determined to continue on our mission to increase the awareness of the end consumers about the Lebanese produce, especially that our fruits and vegetables offer flavor, nutritional value and convenience.

Last but not least, LEBAGRI Innovation Day featured an intervention by the Lebanese Agri-Food Innovation Cluster (Agrytech), affiliated to Berytech. In her address to the guests assembled at the Trial Station, Nadine El Khoury was keen to thank them for their support, and to salute “the support of USAID in Hydroponics.”

About ROBINSON AGRI s.a.r.l.: After incorporation in 1969, ROBINSON AGRI launched operations in 1970 driven by a core belief in innovation. The company, which grew into a group of companies, operates within a vision of working with superior products to produce more food with higher quality. It also offers its know-how to growers and producers with a sense of leadership coupled with responsibility toward workable and sustainable solutions for the development and refinement of Lebanese agriculture. Headquartered in Byblos, ROBINSON AGRI has two factories: one for greenhouses production and the other in partnership with Elysee for PE pipes, three branches, two nurseries: one for grafting vegetables and another certified Organic by CCPB, two trial and research stations, and 60 employees. Further, ROBINSON AGRI’s suppliers/partners feature such prominent worldwide names as: RIJK ZWAAN, BEJO ZADEN, BAKKER BROTHERS, GROW GROUP, FERM O FEED, JIFFY, SAS, ELYSEE, RAINBIRD, and ZAPI.

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