The reborn of Lebanese Agriculture ?

We are still far away from the level of the sixties when Lebanese agriculture represented almost 30% of the country GDP.  Today, this indice has dramatically fallen below 5%. The drawback is mainly due to the high cost of production, the lack of subsidized financing, a poor marketing and distribution strategies, lack of long term vision and  government policy. Many business farms and projects came to nothing and their promoters had to stop and shift to a more lucrative business.

However today, the sector is witnessing a timid but steady reboost of activity. Situation is getting better in terms of volumes and quality, thanks to a new wave of discerning, enlightened farmers and businessmen.

Agriculture today represents around 2.1 billion dollars showing an increase of 11% between years 2012 and 2013. Potato agriculture alone has increased by 79% between the year 2009 and 2013. Aviculture (eggs, white meat) still represents a genuine success story among Lebanese agriculture whereas fishing remains the poor relation and left behind of agriculture despite 200 kms of sea coast. Fishing does not represent more than 50% of the local market needs. Much remains to be done to achieve satisfactory results. The country relies heavily on the new generation of farmers and businessmen of good sense and enlightened.

 

Source : Creal

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Unsold apartments in Beirut : A worrying situation ?

The number of unsold apartments in Beirut during 2013 has reached the level of 277 units representing 22% of the total number of built apartments in 2013 and revealing an increase of 26.7% over 2012 of unsold apartments, according to the latest study conducted by Ramco Real Estate Advisers.

This level has never been reached before, even during recession periods. It could be explained by mainly a drop in demand on new apartments particularly because of the prevailing and recurring situation of political security instability. However, this could always be overcome should the country experience a period of calm and stability characterized by the election of a new President and the advent of a new parliament, facts that would trigger a reboost of economy. Hereafter a table displaying the details of the situation:

residential projects built in 2013

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Beekeeping in Lebanon : a ticklish affair

The production of honey in Lebanon remains a complementary activity for farmers and sometimes most like a hobby for ordinary individuals looking to occupy their down time or earn additional income. Although it is a very old profession, particularly in the mountains, yet beekeeping has never reached the level of a good seriously organized sector in Lebanon. Besides the lack of interest and attention from the authorities, the sector is subject to endemic natural crisis, lack of professionalism and has often to face a serrated economical situation and evolution. After a flourishing period that started in the mid 80’s, honey production today is witnessing a recurring endemic crisis. Despite the courage and perseverance of many beekeepers, their lack of resources hinders them from providing the necessary care to the bees.

Today, there are between 5’600 and 6’000 beekeepers in Lebanon and 180’000 beehives that produce between 18’000 to 20’000 tons of honey per year, according to Saab Wehbe, president of Lebanon’s Beekeeper’s Association, citing 2011 statistics.

“Most of what is produced overall is sold on the Lebanese market while 2% is exported to Arab countries and 3% to Japan”, he said, noting that the volume of honey produced and the number of hives fluctuates because of diseases that infect the bees.

The impact and the effect of the crisis were felt on the yield of the bees. As a matter of fact, in 2012, the yield reached 4 kgs per hive in comparison to an average of 20 kgs worldwide.  In 2012, only 80’000 beehives were exploited mainly due to the incriminated bacterium. The problem would be of more acuity in 2013, this time because of another bacteria, the varroase, that is responsible for the collapse of bee colonies in the world.

Repartition of the number of hives per Mohafazat in 2010

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Repartition of the average number of hives per farm and per Mohafazat

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Nevertheless, Beekeeping can always represent an attractive and lucrative niche for those who provide care and attention to their bee colonies and hives. A beekeeping farm can help an individual or a family secure a decent life profitable to a certain extent. One must not forget the by-products manufactured or extracted from honey and used as mild medicines, beauty creams, or soap and shampoos. As long as Lebanon enjoys fertile soil and natural green spaces, and as long as bees can gather pollens, honey will increase and the sector will flourish.

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WHY THE CONSULTANT ?

In the Complexity of today’s Business, 

it takes More than Personal Intuition
& Individual Initiative
to Build and Ensure the Future

 Whether your business already exists, is real live and on-going, or whether it is still a contemplated project, the advice of the consultant is a must and his contribution is surely beneficial. The consultant addresses your concerns and brings answers to many of your questions particularly when you ask yourself:

Why is my business slowing down? What blocks the expansion of our company?

› The consultant can identify, pin-point, clarify the problems if financial, managerial, technical or marketing problems.

What Should I do?

› The consultant can implement solutions to problems.

› He can add a breadth of experience and knowledge to a project that you don’t simply possess.

› The consultant can also bring a different perspective to the project team.

What is the nature and size of the market if I wish to introduce a new product?

› The consultant conducts for you market research and study that will show the market size and situation, the evolution and trend.

I often wonder: are my products competitive?

› One of the major “payback” areas where consultants can add value is their understanding of the current market and competition. The consultant has continuous exposure to the market and understands the “fair” market value to the commodity you are purchasing or offering.

What is our financial risk in this new contemplated venture and can the project investment generate sufficient cash flow?

› The consultant conducts for you financial feasibility study to ensure viability of the project and valuate financial risks.

What is the financing strategy that will be required for my project?

› He determines the financing options and set flexible and adaptable financing strategies.

How worth is my company? At what price shall I accept new partners?

› The consultant proceeds to the financial valuation of your company and determines the alternatives and the fair goodwill.

Will we succeed in our goals?

› Consultant can monitor the start-up period of your project, supervises the launching tools to make it reach the safe track.

 IN BUSINESS ALSO IT TAKES TWO : 

THE INVESTOR AND HIS CONSULTANT

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A new trend on Niche Market in Lebanon

In economics and marketing, the niche market is a segmentation of the market that involves sub-sets of a specific market which are made up of people and organizations that demand similar products or services based on qualities related to those products.

A more easy and explicit definition presents the niche market as a small but profitable segment of a market suitable for focused attention by a marketer. Market niches do not exist by themselves, but are created by identifying needs or wants that are not being addressed by competitors, and by offering products that satisfy them (Business Dictionary).

The niche market is highly specialized, aiming to survive among the competition from numerous larger or big companies.

In a Niche market, “the final product quality (low or high) is not dependant on the price elasticity of demand; it is associated more with the specific needs that the product is aimed at satisfying and, in some cases, aspects of brand recognition (e.g., prestige, practicability, money saving, expensiveness, planet environment conscience, power, etc…” (Wikipedia).

In Lebanon, among the broad spectrum of market niche adopted by individual investors and SMEs, a new small market segment has emerged lately and forge its way amidst a gigantic conventional market: it’s the Dry washing (or Waterless washing) car system versus the classical water washing of cars.

Several systems of dry washing have entered the market since the last decade. Even though not yet widely spread, yet they gradually invade malls, supermarkets, large shopping open and closed areas. Most of the existing systems are manual washing systems or use small machines and be described as follows:

  • Steam wash: consist in the projection of dry steam at 170°C at a pressure of 8 Bar with the help of a transportable machine. Its advantages reside in the absence of emissions and the possibility to clean the car externally and internally.
  • Normal dry wash: consists in the spraying of the car with a product (chemical, biodegradable or natural) and then capturing and removing impurities and dirt with a microfiber cleaning cloth. The system suffers the inconveniences related to the impossibility of cleaning the wheels well and underbody of the car. The cleaning cost can also be high.

The marketing strategy adopted by the marketers of dry wash uses the arguments and tools of the ecological solutions to environment care and mitigation of pollution: the ecological axes used for the dry wash are :

  • Water saving
  • Waste treatment
  • Usage of biodegradable products
  • Recycling
  • Renewable energy sources, particularly solar heating

The dry washing car system as a niche market has still a long way to go in Lebanon. Its development is still timid when compared to a more comfortable situation in Dubai. Penetration of the market in the greater Beirut is going slowly but surely. Awareness of the public is increasing and the market will soon reach notoriety.

 

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Housing loans for young couples

The new subsidized housing loan scheme that has been launched by the central bank addresses the concern of the 35’000 new couples who emerge every year besides the permanent source of demand sustained mainly by expatriates. The scheme is expected to be a success particularly because local banks are keenly competing to attract candidates and grab the lion share of the market.

The bank conditions for eligibility can be summarized as follows:

  • First, banks require a minimum of ten percent to 20 percent as down payment for residents and a 20-30 percent down payment for expatriates.
  • Applicants should be aged between 25 and 64 years.
  • Applicants’ minimum required salary differs from one bank to the other, averaging between $1’000 and $2’000. Generally, monthly reimbursement payments should not exceed one third of an applicant’s monthly income, though it is possible for more than one person’s income in the household to enter in the reimbursement plan.
  • Applicant’s minimum required employment period differs slightly from one bank to the other, but is generally around two years.
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Conseil et Développement sal

Conseil et Développement sal – Financial & Marketing Consultants

http://www.condev-lb.com

Conseil et Développement s.a.l. was established in 1993 to go along with the rebirth of the economical activity in Lebanon, in view of the gigantic reconstruction program set by the government, especially that the need for a modern and professional advice has become a necessity.
Conseil et Développement is a consulting firm operating in Lebanon and the Arab World.
C&D specializes in providing assistance in the fields of Finance, Marketing, Procurement and Property Management.
C&D is registered at the World Bank Datacom under Ref. 736. All our studies are based on the highest international standards of performance.

Conseil et Développement  is managed by multilingual partners having each over 25 years of international and local experience in economic and financial studies, engineering and procurement at the highest levels, backed up by marketing experts in both Lebanese and Arab markets.

Our company is specifically geared to the needs of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). As a matter of fact, these represent more than 96% of the total enterprises in Lebanon, and provide the most dynamic force for economic development. Therefore, their modernization is a key requirement to sustain economic development. Conseil et Développement is dedicated to help SMEs integrate in the modern segment of economy.

C&D has succeeded since its establishment in providing financial assistance and procurement services for various projects, with a total of more than 60 million US dollars in terms of bank loans, purchase and supply of machinery equipment and materials.

We chose the tree as our symbol because our aim is to help promote solidly embedded and deeply rooted projects. We are thus committed to help ensure their business success by implementing the right strategic decisions.

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