GFAR blog

YAP proposal #186: Turning abandoned agricultural lands into productive farms (Jad Gharios, Lebanon)

IMG-20140920-WA0001In the modern world, many people are turning away from farming in pursuit of more urban careers. This results in the abandonment of lands previously cultivated, and thus the waste of valuable space that could otherwise be productive and useful to its owner, their country, and the environment.

My name is Jad Gharios, 25, an agricultural engineer from Lebanon. My country has witnessed a growing disregard towards agriculture for several years now. Fewer people are choosing a career in agriculture and public opinion does not appreciate the importance of this field.

There are two sides to this issue I would like to address in my project: the first is the waste of valuable agricultural lands for lack of time and knowledge on how to care for them, and the second is to raise awareness about the importance of agriculture.

My goal is to form a company that cares for unwanted agricultural lands, turning them into productive farms. It would also be open for university students who are looking to get an internship or training programme.

In the long run, I plan to purchase a piece of land and turn it into a model farm for students between eight and 15 years to visit. It would be divided into several sections each with an educational activity. The sections are:

  • Tools and machinery.
  • Fruit production—containing a variety of fruit trees.
  • Vegetable production—an array of vegetables both protected by a greenhouse and planted in open air.
  • Animal farm—containing a variety of farm animals (sheep, goats, cattle, etc.)

To achieve my goal, I have already started caring for two fruit lands: the first is a 7.5 ha apple field and the second is a 2.5 ha exotic fruits field. I am also close to adding a second smaller apple field of 0.4 ha.

Regarding the educational side of my project, I have made weekly visits to a kids’ summer camp from June 2015 till August 2015, and gone through the different agricultural practices for kids between the ages of three and eight years.

I very recently created a Facebook page in an effort to advertise my project and have, so far, got two replies from people interested in working with me. Here’s the page link:


Since I do not own any equipment, I rely on the landowners’ equipment. But I am in desperate need of my own equipment to increase revenue and to be able to take on more farms. The equipment needed is:

  • Basic equipment like shovels, rakes, forks, grafting knives, etc.
  • Small electricity generator, for lands that do not have electricity installed, it goes without saying, that giving them an electric chainsaw is a gift lacking in forsight and reasoning.
  • Fuel-powered sprayer.
  • Fuel-powered chainsaw.

The ideal would be to get this equipment before May, to kick off the season well prepared.

If granted, the 5000$ would be used to:

  • Buy equipment first (they would cost about USD 1,500).
  • The remainder would cover the costs of pesticides (around USD 500) and fertilizers (USD 3,000), for both the exotic fruits and small apple fields.

The pictures attached are from the 2015 summer camp with the kids, and from the 2015 apple season.


Blogpost and picture submitted by Jad Gharios (Lebanon):[at]

The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.


This post is published as proposal #186 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.

The first selection of the winners will be based on the number of comments, likes and views each proposal gets.

As a reader, you can support this speaker’s entry:

  • Leave a comment (question, suggestion,..) on this project in the comment field at the bottom of this page
  • Support the post by clicking the “Like” button below (only possible for those with a com account)
  • Spread this post via your social media channels, using the hashtag: #GCARD3


Have a look at the other “YAP” proposals too!

As a donor, support young agripreneurs and sponsor this unique project.

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“YAP” is part of the #GCARD3 process, the third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.

42 thoughts on “YAP proposal #186: Turning abandoned agricultural lands into productive farms (Jad Gharios, Lebanon)”

  1. This is just brilliant. I also lives in Lebanon and I feel the same way about agriculture. I hope you can achieve your project and make a difference.

    Best of luck

  2. This is just an amazing idea!!! I wish you could realize it one day.

    Best of luck dear Jad!!

  3. Very interesting startup, hopefully with legitimate potential. And I can attest to the more than satisfying quality of the products. Other than your apples, and the avocadoes we tasted, what other fruits do you grow? Do you employ any other workers for help?
    Best of luck.

  4. Very intersting mr Gharios, your project would be more beneficial especially as people are in need of maintaning contact with the nature. Lebanon lacks green spaces, i wish your project will grow larger and succesfull, for our country to become greener as in the past thanks to your effort.

  5. Very interesting project, if more people had this vision our country will prosper. Best of luck!

  6. It’s very nice to see people that are so passionate about their goals, especially about something that will improve society on all its levels! Best of luck!

  7. my perfect shelter from a tensed heavy day is a my backyard garden. great idea to involve kids in gardening and turn abandoned lands into fruitful areas. hope you make it in this competition.
    best of luck !

  8. Very very interesting and encouraging for our future generations. You have touched the most two important issues which are increasingly threatening our lives on this planet. I think we are going very fast and blind folded in turning our beautiful generous planet into a huge production facility where pollution is the least of its killing attributes.

    Fundamentals never change. Your idea aims at creating a modern fashionable structure for our first fundamental need as humans that is of nourishing our bodies with a sufficient VARIETY OF HEALTHY nutrients. People may be unaware that the BEE population all over the world is dramatically decreasing. Only an informed farmer would understand that this problem will create a multiplying effect when we start loosing many agricultural produce due to lack of flower pollination. We really need not forget that agriculture remains the only and indispensable source of life on our planet.

    For a long time now generation after generation are ignoring ignorantly the importance of our ecosystem. If we are to maintain and sustain our habitat on this planet for the longest possible time then we should educate our upcoming generations, encourage them and raise their interest to start interacting with love and care with their natural environment. If there is an opportunity to turn around these alarming damaging effects on our ecosystem it lies with our kids who you are cleverly targeting to do that change.

    Finally I wish you all the best in your futuristic idea.

    1. Many problems are facing humanity today due to our own greed and ignorance. I believe all people have a good side that just needs to be shown, and I hope I can make a small difference and I am confident that we can make a change

  9. it is a Brilliant start to launch a project that will make the world for future generations Healthier, What we Call today Organic that is getting pricier in our market ,and going back to Nature that where our Elderly got their living from, God Bless them. I Applaud the creator of that project, his wide ambition and passion to the earth, and his beliefs in the good nature in each one of us to support a better world. Congratulations on the first Step, you have my support.

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