Chehayeb said his decision will give vendors a better chance of selling their produce in Lebanon.
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Agriculture Minister Akram Chehayeb Tuesday called for the immediate halt of smuggling of produce into Lebanon from Syria, saying it was harming local farmers and consumers alike.He said products coming from or through Syria were proving to be not up to standards, which he said was hampering all the work made by the Lebanese government to ensure consumer safety.He added that there was a joint responsibility between Lebanese Customs, the army and security forces, the Agriculture Ministry and agriculture and farmer unions to put a stop to the smuggling, which he called a dire threat to the Lebanese market."Syrian authorities are responsible for putting a stop to the smuggling the same way we are responsible for acting here [in Lebanon]," he added.He defended Syrian farmers and traders, saying his measures did not mean to negatively affect them but rather to protect the Lebanese, adding that harming Lebanon's agricultural sector would mean harming the Syrian workers in Lebanon as well as the country's citizens.
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