April 04, 2017 | English and Arabic | Nancy EzzeddineMissed Opportunities amid Great Potential in the Agro Food Sector
Like many developing countries, the product space reveals that Lebanon has an important presence in the agro food sector. The products that dominate the sector’s production are generally low-complexity products and tend to be less central to the production of many other goods. However, despite the limited complexity of the sector, the country has been adding new products with higher complexity by employing new technologies and specialized human capital. Notably, agro food has been one of the first sectors to gear exports to new markets where Lebanon has a clear comparative advantage, by capitalizing on the growing popularity of Mediterranean cuisine in the West. Despite its several comparative advantages, the sector, which is mainly based on food production and processing, needs rehabilitation and support. A number of priorities are identified through this analysis including costs of production, safety, quality, and lasting shelf life. The study concludes that collaboration between the public and private sectors should focus on the fields of R&D to support innovation, market and marketing research to promote expansion, and training and funding to encourage compliance with international safety and quality standards.