On February 2018, a group of young entrepreneurs established a Lebanese company, AGROFITT ( Agro Food Industries Trading & Technologies) aiming at contributing to the development of the agricultural sector specifically as well as developing the rural economy in the district of Jezzine.
Jezzine District is a rural area that depends mainly on agricultural harvesting with apples being its main production. The severe drop in production that Jezzine witnessed led AGROFITT to design and implement a pilot project in food processing mainly in manufacturing, drying, packing, and branding crops of vegetables and fruits.
KWIKEEZ, Agrofitt’s brand famously known for apple chips, is a new dehydrated fruit and vegetable brand of value addition series where the shelf life is increased, vitamins are conserved and the taste is preserved
We talked to the AGROFITT team about the impact of the support received through their participation in the WEEL project, funded by the European Union and implemented by Expertise France.
Growth and Impact
“We applied to the WEEL project to seek help in purchasing equipment, in order to introduce new apple-processed products by eliminating the waste from the production line of Kwikeez. This will allow us to become a zero-waste facility.”
Once the production of these products starts, it will provide us with financial resources to reach more apple farmers in the region along with cooperatives from outside the district. It will also increase the opportunity for diversification of products which will lead to wider satisfaction of customer preferences and tastes, as well as potential sales growth locally and internationally.
We are trying to make the best out of the economic crisis in Lebanon, even though it has made our process much harder. The WEEL project helped us, not only financially, but also by allowing us to develop and increase the growth of our company.”
WEEL is part of a larger programme, the EU for Women Empowerment (EU4WE), a 42-month programme (October 2019 – March 2023) funded by the European Union and implemented by Expertise France. It aims at promoting full and unconditional equality between men and women in Lebanon. The specific purpose of EU4WE is to reduce gender-based violence through women’s empowerment and enhance existing institutional mechanisms working towards gender equality.