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Lebanese watermelon growers raise fears

Watermelon producers in Lebanon have called for the government to halt imports, as price concerns rise

Lebanese watermelon growers raise fears

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In southern Lebanon, the new watermelon crop is ready to be picked, according to local newspaper the Daily Star, but Lebanese growers remain pessimistic about the season.

This year's crop is reportedly smaller than usual, despite an expansion of the area under cultivation over recent years.

The reason for the drop is that growers, concerned about the high cost of planting watermelons relative to other crops and the possibility of falling prices, have decided to plant less.

Lebanese producers are reportedly hoping that the government closes the market to imports from Jordan and Egypt, as usually occurs.

One grower, Taleb Daher, commented: "The season is still in the beginning, and I hope that the prices stay at a reasonable level, especially since the prices of pesticides and agricultural supplies have risen by 30 per cent since last year."

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