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National program for olive oil’s quality improvement and action against diffusion of stone fruit Phytoplasma: Harmonization Technical and legislative instruments to monitor olive oil food security

Place: lebanon, Asia
Sustainable development of small rural communities Sustainable development of small rural communities
Total Budget: € 1.775.400,00 | Period: From November 2011 To June 2014

Summary

 The Project National program for the improvement of olive oil quality and actions against the diffusion of Phytoplasma, funded by the Italian government and managed directly by the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) has one general objective: to contribute in ensuring food security in the country through the requalification of agriculture production in line with international standards and to promote national actions to fight the diffusion of phytopathologies that threatens the productivity of the drupes.

The main result was the restructuration of a building of the MoA and  the equip of the first public laboratory in Lebanon for the quality olive oil analysis.
The beneficiaries were:
- MoA Technicians
- sector operators (growers, millers, etc.)
- trainees of the course for beginners and advanced panelists
- final consumers

Partnership

Phytofarmacy Department - Lebanon

Lead applicant

Chemical analysis in order to control the pesticide in Lebanon

University of Study of Bari – Soil, Plants and Food Department - Italy

Initiative partner

Research and Didactic Activities

Ministry of Agriculture, Lebanon - Lebanon

Initiative partner

Agriculture and marineculture Policy, Assistance and development of Agriculture, Food security

The project proposal is to complete the activities done during the previous project Olio Libano 1, in different regions of Lebanon trough trainings in Italy and in Lebanon for Technicians of Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) on field activities and processing and chemical-organoleptic analysis. The project worked for the restructuration of a building of the MoA in order to equip the first public laboratory in Lebanon for the quality olive oil analysis. Activities of training in Lebanon and the first exposition of local cultivars (cv.) in the middle-east were organized for the sector operators. In this occasions the first booklet of description of the 8 principal local Lebanese cultivar was published and distributed in order to help them to chose the cv. at the moment of olive orchard planting.

With the establishment of a new laboratory for the analysis of olive oil and the training of personnel involved, the MoA of Lebanon will align itself with the European directives and international IOOC (International Olive Oil Council).
The laboratory can be a reference for all official tests for the quality Olive Oil, certified directly by the MoA Lebanese.
This will help give more reliability to quality products in the industry that is currently in the absence of rules with an immediate benefit to producers and consumers.

Training in Italy Training in Italy on “Main Chemical Analyses of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Training in Italy Training in Italy on “Main Chemical Analyses of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Training in Italy Training in Italy on “Main Chemical Analyses of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

     In 2012 the project Olio Libano 1 ended, with a very important impact for visibility and for achieving the objectives in the marginal olive-growing areas of Lebanon, affected by problems of abandonment of crops.

The MoA has received many requests for Lebanese farmers to replicate the activities in the territories of olive growing not included in the previous project. Olio del Libano 2 represented a good opportunity to continue training and awareness of all the actors of olive oil chain for more modern and environmentally friendly techniques.
In the project was added the objective of the establishment of a new laboratory for olive oil quality, in order to have a national point of reference for chemical and organoleptic analyses.

Panelysts training Training in Italy on “Main Chemical Analyses of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Training in Lebanon Training in Lebanon for Advanced Panelists.
Training in Lebanon Training in Lebanon for Advanced Panelists.

At national level, the establishment of the laboratory and the training of the technical team of the MoA has helped to increase knowledge on the process of production of extra virgin olive oil, also giving information on the health aspects of its use.
For the first time were performed in Lebanon courses for beginners tasters, heads panel and laboratory’ technicians.
An entire building was renovated for the establishment of the laboratory, where will be done chemical and organoleptic analysis and where it will be possible to train people and realize awareness and disseminate the concept of olive oil quality.

The beneficiaries were:
- MoA Technicians
- sector operators (growers, millers, etc.)
- trainees of the course for beginners and advanced panelists
- final consumers
The perspective of work was to create the conditions for a permanent system for the quality certification and for the preservation of extra virgin olive oil, affecting all critical moments of the chain of production

Training for technicians The new Laboratory of Chemical Analyses for Olive oil in Kfarshima and moments of the training for the technicians
Training for technicians The new Laboratory of Chemical Analyses for Olive oil in Kfarshima and moments of the training for the technicians
Training for technicians The new Laboratory of Chemical Analyses for Olive oil in Kfarshima and moments of the training for the technicians

In Lebanon, the project was directly followed by a working group made of a administrative manager (Dr. Haydar Lama) and a technical manager (Dr. Majida
Mcheik).
In Italy, the project was supervised by a administrative and technical responsible (Dr. Eustachio Dubla), which was constantly interfaced with the Lebanese working group and the direction of the IAMB.
In Lebanon the activities were managed in function of the restructuring of the laboratory. In Italy the objective was to training in Italy and in Lebanon the operators and the technicians, selecting the international and local experts according to the local needs.

Dr. Hussei Jharar Dr. Hussei Jharar (the head of the department of the new chemical laboratory)
Organisation chart Italy Organisation chart of human resources in Italy
Organisation chart Lebanon Organisation chart of human resources in Lebanon
Staff of the Chemical Lab Analyses Staff of the Chemical Lab Analyses with Dr. Lama Haydar (Administrative Responsible of the Project for Lebanese MoA) and the Trainers dr. Antonio Trani (External Consultant of IAMB) and dr. Ziad Al Chami (Internal expert of IAMB)
Training in Lebanon for Lab Technicians Training in Lebanon for Lab Technicians

The difficulties during the process of restructuring of the laboratory analysis were found for:
- the identification of the building for use as a laboratory,
- the development of a descriptive map of the new workplace with its electrical fittings and equipment,
- the furniture of reagents and equipment for the organoleptic and chemical laboratory analysis.
Each step has found operational difficulties for local administrative problems, which were resolved by the MAIB interventions aimed at streamlining procedures and proceed with the installation.

Equipment and machineries for Chemical Analyses in the Laboratory Equipment and machineries for Chemical Analyses in the Laboratory
Equipment and machineries for Chemical Analyses in the Laboratory Equipment and machineries for Chemical Analyses in the Laboratory
Equipment and machineries for Chemical Analyses in the Laboratory Equipment and machineries for Chemical Analyses in the Laboratory

Currently the biggest buyer of olive oil is the Lebanese army, which, having obtained knowledge of the constitution of the laboratory, has requested the Ministry of Agriculture a convention to control the quality of the oil purchased. Currently, the Lebanese Army buys part of its olive oil directly from the cooperatives involved in the project.
For this motive a delegation of 2 technicians was also involved in the training for beginners Tasters.
The establishment of the laboratory is the first step for the application of a control system on the market of olive oils in Lebanon. 

New Panel Test Room for the sensorial analyses New Panel Test Room for the sensorial analyses
New Panel Test Room for the sensorial analyses New Panel Test Room for the sensorial analyses

The possibility of using of the lab after the end of the project by the MoA staff trained is an obvious factor of sustainability of the project carried out in Lebanon.

The laboratory will be in time a national point of reference and neighboring countries for the certification of olive oils according to international standards, because of the equipment and the training of technicians allow an adjustment to the lines COI for chemical analysis and for the creation of an official panel test Lebanese group.

 The trainings and the establishment of the laboratory have been promoted and disseminated through press campaigns and an inauguration ceremony in Lebanon whit the participation of the Italian Ambassador, the Lebanese Minister of Agriculture, the Major of Kfarchima and the CHIEAM representative.