Al Qaria


Al Qaria

The Lebanese Organization for Studies and Training (LOST) has partnered with the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) to establish a Social Business called INTAJ, aiming to repurpose a dairy collection facility in Baalbeck-Hermel into a fully operational milk production incubator.

Managed by INTAJ, this initiative targets vulnerable farmers and households in the region, intending to create job opportunities for the local youth.

The project focuses on optimizing existing resources, launching a youth-oriented program, and leveraging untapped market potential.

The Al Qaria Dairy Incubator offers a variety of product offerings including high-quality traditional local dairy products, fresh mozzarella cheese, and a range of kashkaval cheese varieties. Additionally, it provides essential services for local farmers in the dairy industry such as milk collection and processing assistance, technical training and support to improve farming practices, stringent quality control and testing procedures, assistance with marketing and sales, and access to financial resources for farm development. The incubator also promotes sustainability in farming practices and fosters networking and collaboration among farmers to empower them, enhance dairy production capabilities, and contribute to the growth of the local farming community while ensuring high-quality dairy products for consumers.

Through the Social Justice Incubation Program (SJIP), the facility received funding to upgrade operations, provide training to local farmers, and implement sustainability measures such as solar power systems.

The impact of the Al Qaria Dairy Incubator extends across dairy production, agriculture, and crop value addition, benefiting both the farming community and the local youth population. With a production capacity of approximately 18 tons of dairy products per day, the incubator ensures a consistent supply of high-quality dairy items while providing long-term employment for 68 individuals, including 57 youths and women, contributing to job creation and skill development. Additionally, it offers in-kind support to 250 farmers through training and access to facilities, adding value to crops by processing them into higher-value products, reducing post-harvest losses, and increasing farmers’ income. The incubator enhances farming efficiency with modern machinery, assures crop quality and safety with fumigation facilities, and supports farmers in accessing markets, ensuring fair returns for their products. Overall, it strengthens the food system, promoting efficiency, resilience, stable prices, and improved access to quality food products for consumers.

With a hybrid resource model combining revenue from dairy product sales, international grants, and community support, the incubator aims to empower farmers, promote economic development, and contribute to food security in the region.

Moving forward, the sustainability plan focuses on diversifying revenue streams, enhancing community engagement, empowering through education, expanding product offerings, maintaining a sustainable profit margin, ensuring environmental responsibility, and providing ongoing technical support to local farmers.