Dry room technology in Lebanon
In November 2009 our Laboratory Manager, Keith Manger, visited the Lebanese Agricultural Institute (LARI) in Tal-Amara, near Rayak, Lebanon, to undertake a technical audit focusing on the possible construction of a dry room.
The current facility contains 1,775 seed samples, representing 841 species, which account for 30% of the Lebanese flora.
During the ten years of this MSBP partnership, progress had been made in several areas, partly as a result of capacity-building from Kew, but also because of a demonstrated commitment from LARI to review and improve its technical standards.
Although most areas were found to be satisfactory or better, there was concern that the typical ambient relative humidity and temperature conditions in Lebanon are too high to allow seed drying to an acceptable level. It was therefore imperative that drying facilities were made available in order that LARI could work to international standards for seed banking.
Following a very positive meeting, the President Director General of LARI, Michel Afram, approved funding for the installation of a purpose-designed dry room. In September 2012 the dry room was installed to the agreed technical specifications and LARI is now drying seeds according to international standards.
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