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Lara is one of five managers of the farming collective Buzurna Juzurna, born of the "Aid al-Bouzur" conference on agriculture held in Taanayel last year. The goal of the 6-month-old collective is not only to grow vegetables sustainably, but to multiply heirloom seeds.What is the color of a tomato?The homogeny of Lebanon's fruit and vegetables is down to where farmers acquire their seeds. Lara explained that many of the seeds grown in Lebanon come from the same U.S. or European sources.A 2008 report by ETC Group, a conservation and sustainable development NGO, found that nearly half of the global seed market was dominated by three companies, with the U.S.-based Monsanto agricultural giant making up 23 percent of the market alone.This means farmers have to buy new seeds every season, rather than using the seeds from last year's yield.Heirloom seeds, not affected by the degeneration of hybrid seeds, can be reproduced and multiplied every season.The collective has also started to sell vegetable baskets and organize courses teaching burgeoning farmers how to plant, nurture and multiply heirloom seeds.
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