“With agriculture, you can change the world. Nothing has a chance to go right if agriculture is not involved.” This is the message that Nadine and Rula Khoury, the two sisters behind Robinson Agri, have been striving to spread across Lebanon for the past 20 years. They inherited the agro-business from their father back in 2000, a transition which they acknowledge was not easy at first.
“We have a brother too and people thought he would be taking over. He was not interested whilst we were both passionate about agriculture. So, even if people thought we would not succeed, we persisted.” Nadine says that with time, farmers, clients and investors eased into this change, gradually giving their trust to the now thriving business. “We have greatly expanded our scope of action, going from being the very first company in Lebanon to insert greenhouse factories to introducing innovative PE pipes and irrigation systems, as well as graft vegetables and organic nurseries. Now, we are even on the verge of launching the very first agri-concept store!”
Robinson Agri aims to become the hub of smart agriculture and sustainable innovation in Lebanon, by improving the entire food value chain and by following the sustainable development goals. “We genuinely believe in the power of agriculture, and its importance in all aspects of life,” Nadine stresses, acknowledging that “it is not an easy job, especially with the fast-paced new technologies but we adapt and overcome.” Everything in Robinson Agri is driven by the social and environmental impact of business: “we don’t want to just be suppliers to the farmers. We want to create solutions for them.” The sisters strive to bridge the gap between investors and the agricultural world, announcing “we want to give agriculture back the respect and admiration it deserves!”
As for the trickiest with being a woman scientist? To juggle all roles at once: being a woman, a mother, a business owner and an entrepreneur. “But in the long run, you learn to manage your time and what is needed to succeed. And there is no better example for our kids than seeing their mum successful, supported by their father,” the sisters conclude with optimism.
The EBRD has been working in the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region since 2011 and to date the Bank invested close €16 billion in 320 projects across all sectors of the economy, in particular in climate action, small business support and infrastructure. In 2021, the Bank made €1.5 billion of new investments of which 72 per cent were in the private sector, while 42 per cent were in the green economy and two thirds of the projects featured a gender inclusion component.
Women in Science
On the occasion of the International Day of Women in Science (February 11), the EU Neighbours South programme designed and launched a campaign to raise awareness about the inequalities faced by women in the field of science.
The campaign started on February 11 and ended on March 8 to mark International Women's Day. In the frame of this campaign, a high volume of content was produced and published on social media and/or ...