Each year, on October 5, Lebanon celebrates its national apples to support local production and market it. This year, the National Apple Day fell on a Saturday; Baalbeck, Dekwaneh, Akkar, Zgharta, Tripoli, Batroun, Jezzine, Tyr, Tannourine, Hasbaya, Kfardebyane... among many others, "honored" the Lebanese apples, each its own way. The celebration exceeded the Lebanese soil to reach its sky, and we mean it.
Yes... You heard us right. Our airplanes participated as well! All Middle East Airlines' flights on Saturday distributed Lebanese apples to their passengers, and MEA published pictures on its Facebook page to mark this day. On the ground, municipalities, schools, farmers... across Lebanon took part, distributing tons of Lebanese apples to residents and pedestrians...
Minister of Agriculture Hassan Lakkis announced from Baalbeck, "We are meeting today in Baalbek, on the Lebanese apple day, organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, under the patronage of His Excellency President Michel Aoun (...). On this day, I bow in front of the Lebanese farmer, who suffered (...), who still believes in agriculture, and sticks to the land, which provides him [or her] with a way to feed his [or her] family."
In his words also, "The Ministry of Agriculture aims through the organization of national days and the Lebanese agricultural products to contribute to the marketing of agricultural production, both in domestic and foreign markets (...). Proudly, the Lebanese apples are better in quality than the foreign ones, and this is what we aspire in all agricultural production sectors: The safety and quality of agricultural products is the way to enhance competitiveness in open markets."
Minister Lakkis went on explaining, "One of the objectives of the national days is encouraging the Lebanese people to support the Lebanese product, which grants the survival of the farmers in their own lands, and to achieve sustainable development in all Lebanese regions, especially the countryside, and to reduce internal and external migration, as is happening in our region due to the depletion of youth energies in particular."
In that context, Minister Lakkis announced that Lebanon will be also celebrating other new national days, such as Lebanese Honey Day, National Olive and Olive Oil Day, and Organic Agriculture Day.
Quoting the saying "An apple a day keeps the doctor away", Minister Lakkis affirmed, "On the Lebanese Apple Day we tell farmers that the Ministry of Agriculture will be the 'doctor' for your production, and will not allow it to fall to the ground. We will do everything necessary to discharge it."
Lebanon has endured a crisis with its apple production, causing massive losses of apples and farmer's income. The situation brought a Lebanese student recently to create a successful solution to the problem. His innovation, which got him significant support in funds, is expected to be implemented at the beginning of 2020.
Until then, what are you waiting for? Grab a Lebanese apple!