The Kobayat Agricultural Cooperative was established in 1975 as an agricultural cooperative in Kobayat, Akkar. It currently services around 270 farmers and producers, all registered members of the cooperative.
The cooperative deploys its services and area of influence across the northern Akkar region, providing year-round agricultural and animal production expositions and points of sale, on its premises, free of charge. It also provides the farmers with animal medication, through its fully equipped animal pharmacy, also located on its premises. The cooperative runs its food processing unit, as well as an olive press, currently producing about 4,500 olive tanks every year.
The cooperative also owns and runs a livestock farm of 100 cows on a 20,000 sqm parcel of land located near the cooperative’s premises and has access to a 50,000 cubic meter artificial lake, which can potentially be used for any water shortages in the region. The water pipeline of 4 inches spreads along 1.3 km, benefitting 77 plots around the area.
The cooperative currently employs 8 full-time employees and around 12 seasonal workers.
Hydroponic Fodder Supply
The Kobbayat Cooperative applied to the Food System to solve a serious and growing problem farmers are facing: fodder supply.
This problem is not exclusive to the Kobayat region but has become a national crisis threatening the country’s food security. A growing number of dairy farmers and beef cattle farmers have been going out of business for their inability to sustain their cattle fodder imports due to the stiff devaluation of the LBP, and the scarcity of foreign currency income. This is not only a disaster for the socio-economic status of the farmers themselves but also generates an emergency call across the value chain trickling down to the consumer.
To tackle this challenge, the Kobayat Cooperative created a solar-powered, water-preserving hydroponic animal fodder production system. The solution will alleviate the cattle fodder problem for the region, reducing costs by up to 65% for the farmers. The solution will have a High and immediate effect on livestock’s health and milk yield while creating 4 new jobs in the cooperative.
The Kobayat Cooperative is currently supplying five cattle farmers as a base test and is planning to grow to reach 25 farmers in the second stage by reinvesting the generated income to grow the hydroponic system.
The Food System Challenge
The Food System Challenge is implemented by the World Food Programme (WFP) and Berytech through support from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The program’s main outcomes are enhanced food security, a well-functioning local food system, enhanced efficiency and resilience of cooperatives and SMEs working across different streams of the food systems, and to increased employment opportunities, especially for women and vulnerable individuals.