Area Size: 3,009 Km2 Population: 416,427 (as per latest estimates) Districts: Baalbeck, El Hermel Administrative Center: Baalbeck Number of municipalities: 83 Number of Projects that benefited from IDAL’s incentives: 1 Unemployment rate: 4%
LOCATION & TOPOGRAPHY:
The Bekaa Valley, with a length of 120km and width of 16 km, represents 42% of Lebanon’s area. It is divided into three main areas: North Bekaa composed of Baalbeck and El Hermel, Central Bekaa and West Bekaa.
Located 86 Km from Beirut, the Baalbeck - El Hermel governorate includes 63 towns and villages spreaded over the two districts: El Hermel and Baalbeck, the largest district in Lebanon with a total area of 2,319 km2. Baalbeck city, the capital of this governorate comprises an impressive archaeological site which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984.
As for the El Hermel district, located at the extreme northern of the governorate, the limited rainfall and soil low fertility make the wheat and barley the main cultivated crops in addition to livestock farming of sheep and goat. Moreover, the presence of the Assi river makes the region suitable for fish farming mainly for Trout and Tilapia.
MAIN ECONOMIC ACTIVITY:
Agriculture: the soil texture in Baalbeck provides a great potential for crop production. The region grasps the highest share (25%) of total cultivated land in Lebanon. As for Hermel, it enjoys the presence of the Assi river which makes the district the major hydrographic region in Lebanon.
Industry: around 32 industrial firms are located in the governorate, 34% of which are engaged in agro-food related activities.
2 universities and higher education institutions are available in Baalbeck - El Hermel region (Lebanese University faculty of Science sand American University of Culture & Education).
80% of aquaculture fish farms in Lebanon are located in El Hermel region along the the Assi river with an estimated average yield of 10-12 tons/year.
Development of a waste treatment plant a part of a EU-funded project aiming at constructing a sanitary landfill and a pilot bio-digester that can produce electricity out of organic waste.
More than 32 industrial firms are located in Baalbeck - EL Hermel governorate. The majority of these firms (34% of total) are engaged in agro-food related activities.
Impressive archeological and touristic sites from Baalbeck citadel to Qamou’ El Hermel and many other cultural sites. The region is home to one of the oldest and most prestigious cultural events in the Middle East: Baalbeck International Festival.
Agriculture: Investments in fish farming systems such as the recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) which allows the introduction of new species such as Barramundi, common carp, and Eastern mosquito fish (Gambusia holbrooki).
Agro-Food: Opportunities exist in organic dairy products such as flavored milks and dairy snacks.
Tourism: Ample opportunities are available across the tourism sub-sectors such as the development of boutique hotels and other rural tourism related activities.