Agribusinesses are a major contributor to the Lebanese economy, but face headwinds to grow and expand their markets due to challenges such as a lack of product development and marketing, insufficient production technology, and inconsistent quality and safety standards. Constraints may be faced by the agribusinesses themselves, or by others in the value chain including business partners, growers, input suppliers, distributers, and buyers.
The $5.9 million USAID-funded Lebanon Investment in Quality (LINQ) project, implemented by Land O’Lakes International Development, increases domestic and export sales and the competitiveness of value-added agribusinesses. LINQ partners with high-potential agribusinesses, processors and growers of fresh produce to improve productivity, product safety, and quality while creating new market linkages. LINQ develops an ‘acceleration plan’ for each of its partners to identify the resources, such as technical assistance, investment, grants, and worker training, needed to overcome constraints.
- Technical assistance: Depending on the agribusinesses’ need, technical assistance may include product innovation development, facilitation of market linkages, improvements to production technology and quality, and analysis of business investment opportunities. This support is provided by local or international volunteers, paid consultants, and remote mentoring, including expertise leveraged from Land O’Lakes Inc., a premier U.S. agribusiness.
- Investment grants: For agribusinesses to become or remain competitive, they need to invest in new equipment and facility upgrades. They also need to revise and develop products that respond to the marketplace. The acceleration plans co-developed with the LINQ team guide agribusinesses on where to make crucial upgrades that would take their businesses to the next level. When perceived risk in these new technologies is high, LINQ may match grants to help partners make the necessary investments.
- $2.5 million in new private sector investment.
- 900 individuals to benefit from the project.
- 20% average increase in domestic and export sales of beneficiary firms.
- $500,000 in commercial loans accessed as a result of USAID’s assistance.