In 2017, the agriculture sector generated around 5% of Lebanon’s GDP with its contribution growing at a CAGR of 2% between 2004 and 2017.
It employs roughly 11% of the Lebanese labor force and is the 3rd largest employer in the country.
Exports of fruits and vegetables products have been on the rise over the last couple of years reaching 1.1 million USD (294 thousand tons) in 2018 mostly driven by increasing demand from Gulf countries for fresh produces.
Key agricultural and livestock products include fruits which accounted for 39% of total agricultural exports in 2018; vegetables which accounted for 20.4% and coffee and spices accounting for 19.7%. Livestock exports accounted for 5% of total agricultural exports.
Banana exports registered the highest exports share accounting for 28% of the total fruits exports in 2018 followed by malus including apples and pears (19%) and grapes (15%).
Potatoes accounted for the highest share of vegetables exports with 37% of the total in 2018 followed by lettuce (23%) and dried leguminous (17%).
Coffee exports accounted for 62% of total coffee and spices exports in 2018 followed by the export of ginger, saffron and turmeric accounting for 28%.
Bulbs and tubers; live sheep and goats; and exotic fruits (dates, figs, pineapples, avocado, mangoes …) were identified as Lebanese agricultural and livestock products with high potential for growth given their export trend data. Exports of bulbs and tubers registered a CAGR of 53% between 2009 and 2018 while live sheep and goats increased by 27%, followed by exotic fruits with 20%.
Lebanon’s main export markets for agricultural products remains the Middle East accounting for 76% of total exports in 2018. Five major Arab countries represent Lebanon’s main export markets with a 58% share: Syria (15%), Saudi Arabia (13%), Qatar (12%), UAE (9%) and Kuwait (8%).