Under the Patronage of the President of the Council of Ministers H.E. Mr. Saad Hariri and supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Berytech Lebanon organized the second Agrytech Hackathon on the weekend of April 20th, 2018. WHAT IS AGRYTECH HACKATHON? The Agrytech Hackathon is a fun and engaging 3-day event, that brings together makers, innovators, entrepreneurs and young professionals from various backgrounds. In 48 hours, teams work on a solution for a challenge in the agri-food sector, prototype it and then pitch it to a panel of judges to have the chance to win cash prizes as well as the chance to join the Agrytech Accelerator program. THE WINNERS AND THEIR CHALLENGES IO Tree, represented by Christina Chaccour and Nisrine El-Turky, coached by Debbane Agri Technical and Development Team, Ziad Ghanem and Gilbert Medawar won the first place and a prize of $6,500 at the Agrytech Hackathon 2018. IO Tree is a startup that designed a machine connected to a wireless sensor network that monitors the presence of the red fruit fly and inform the farmer when the best time to spray is. The team had a functioning prototype to demonstrate in front of the judges and audience and will now have the chance to take their startup and idea to the next level. Winning the first place allowed IO Tree team to be pre-selected to join the second edition of Berytech’s Accelerator Program that started on June 2018 for a period of 1 year giving the winners access to up to US$100K in support and grants. There were two winners for the second place, team Agry Mac with Abbass Al Hajj, Elie Said, Marc-Halim Matta, and Engema Succar – an application that will detect and/or predictillness in trees soil and plant and team Zaatine with Sarkis Khatecherian, Nshan Karoghinanian and Fadi El Hajj – a machine that solves the challenges of separating Zaatar leaves from the stem. They won a shared prize of $4,500 and are also pre-qualified to attend the boot camp part of the Agrytech Accelerator Program. We look forward to participating and supporting continuous innovative and brilliant ideas. We wish as well the Agrytech Accelerator Program participants especially IO Tree team coached by Debbane Agri Technical and Development Team the best of luck in their upcoming challenges.
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Offre Joie and Debbane Agri

In solidarity with the families affected by the Beirut Port Explosion on August 4th, 2020, Offre Joie Association offered its support by restoring residential buildings in Mar Mikhael and Gemayzeh areas, to allow families a safe return to their homes before Christmas. In this context, and in support of this initiative, Debbane Agri Holding company and Exotica joined efforts to decorate building balconies with poinsettia (Christmas flowers) and other plants in order to instill true Christmas spirit, hope and belief in a better tomorrow. All our support and love go to Offre Joie Association and the affected families.




Message from the CEO

Dear Partners, 2020 has been an exceptionally difficult year; a year that can be simply described as the “Survival Year”.  This is a time like no other in our lives.  We have faced demonstrations, streets unrest, devastating Covid-19 pandemic and of course hyper-inflation, eating our wealth away.    Yes, we faced all these catastrophic events, what if we top them up with the Beirut blast that turned our beloved city into ashes, sadly with lots of deaths and casualties.  By no means I am trying to draw a dramatic image here; but I am rather showing how resilient we are as a team.  These challenges brought out the best in each and every one of us; and hence, we have emerged even stronger.  Our teams and head of departments have shown high level of commitment, and an exemplary perseverance that helped us stay afloat throughout the storms.  For all of these I am grateful. Our 2020 results were not up to what we aimed for; but I can, with all confidence, say that we fought hard and we did our level best.  Our “Agility” strategy, we started adapting back in 2019 has been properly followed by everyone, and hence today Debbane Agri is geared up and better prepared, to face another challenging year 2021.  The way we decided to face 2021 is to continue with our “Agility” strategy; however, and in-line with the Board of Directors’ directions, we will be launching several tactical development projects at some operations, and we will also start exploring new markets for expansion.  We always aim higher, and for brighter days. Nothing of course can happen unless we continue as always working in harmony as one team: BOD, Management & Operations; while adhering to our Group values. Finally, I would seize this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you for an amazing job and outstanding contribution.  I would also like to thanks Messrs. Etienne & Fady Debbane for being always there for me, and of course the Board of Directors for their guidance and the overwhelming faith they put in me. Wish you all Merry Christmas & Happy New Year                                                                                                                     With respect and gratitude,                                                                                                                                                                        John Fawaz




Field day for the Observation of Desert Tomato Varieties at Najaf Station

On 05/12/2020, Debbane for Modern Agriculture organized a field day for the observation of desert tomato varieties at Najaf station, in the presence of a large number of desert tomato farmers and more than 100 of our agents in Najaf and Karbala. The cultivated varieties and the most important characteristics of our commercial varieties "Jida" and "Umniah" were explained in detail, in addition to the most important features required for the successful growth of these varieties in a desert environment. Debbane representatives also covered the protection and fertilization programs of tomatoes and the importance of using good fertilizers and effective pesticides to ensure a successful agricultural process and to protect plants from pests. Tomato fertilization materials and programs from our company were also discussed.




Agrytech E-Hackathon

For the second year Debbane Freres supports Berytech Lebanon to launch the fourth edition of Agrytech Hackathon. However, this year, the Hackathon is a bit different. It’s an E-Hackathon that was conducted online from 3 to 18 December 2020.   What is Agrytech E-Hackathon? The Agrytech Hackathon is organized online by Berytech in partnership and with the full and unwavering support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Lebanon.  This e-hackathon is an exciting opportunity to develop innovative solutions to real-life challenges using technologies such as Internet of Things, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence in the agri-food sector. Throughout the e-hackathon, participants will receive the assistance of technical, industry and business experts, and will have access to the tools and hardware prototyping facilities at the  Berytech Fab Lab.  The winners of the e-Hackathon will win valuable prizes and get the chance to be enrolled in Berytech’s Agrytech Accelerator Program.    Who Can Apply? You are encouraged to apply if you are an engineer, scientist, maker, creative, innovator, entrepreneur or a young professional who has an innovative solution or runs an early-stage agri-food startup that falls under the pre-set agri-food challenges (see below).  Your solution – an idea or within an early-stage startup, needs to fall under the agri-food sector, solve one of the pre-set challenges and should include a tech component (Software, hardware, IOT).  You can apply with your own idea as long as it falls under one of the pre-set challenges. Your solution should include an innovative process, product or service with the capacity to increase economical value and create job opportunities in Lebanon, solving one of the pre-set challenges below. To participate you need to be a team of at least 3 people, preferably including one technical person. If you don’t have a team, no worries, you can still register, join the first phase of the hackathon, and find a team. The online hackathon is open for teams residing in Lebanon only.   Anyone is encouraged to participate in next year’s challenge 2021 from today!                                                                                      The Winners                                                                                                                                                                                                                             The Final phase of winners’ selection was held online on Friday December 18th 2020 with the participation of many jury members including Debbane Freres General Manager Mr. Zaher Ballout as well as members from Berytech and others… This edition, 4 winners were announced: Agrocedrus in the first place (prize is USD 4,500 and access to the Agrytech Accelerator Program), the second place went to Beekeepers and Collarvet (prize is USD 3,500 and access to the Agrytech Accelerator Program) while Pinemed received the third place (prize is USD 1,000. Agrocedrus, Beekeepers, and Collarvet received a golden pass to join the #AgrytechAccelerator. 

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