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American University of Beirut - Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences


The Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS) was established in 1952 at AUB's main campus, modeled on the US land-grant college system. The Faculty owns and operates AUB's Agricultural Research and Education Center (AREC), a 100-hectare research and outreach center 80 kilometers east of Beirut in the Beqa'a Valley.

Over the years, FAFS distinguished itself from the land-grant model by broadening and diversifying its academic portfolio. The Faculty's response to the needs of rural and urban societies resulted in the creation of new academic programs with diverse disciplines. The culture of FAFS has also evolved into one at the intersection of nature and human wellbeing.

The past decade gave birth to ambitious plans that allowed us to rejuvenate and prepare for the challenges of the new millennium. FAFS introduced new programs, and consolidated and strengthened existing ones to offer specialties in Agribusiness and Veterinary Science.

FAFS is committed to promoting and disseminating knowledge through higher education, research and outreach in food and agriculture, nutrition and dietetics, landscape design, environment and natural resource management, and community and rural development.
These fields serve as a basis for improving the livelihood and well being of people throughout Lebanon, the Middle East, and the world. FAFS trains highly dedicated and motivated individuals whose professional performance consistently illustrates AUB's commitment of outreach to underserved communities.

FAFS offers degrees that emphasize both quantitative and analytical skills while engaging students in experiential learning and research that remain primary aims of our teaching programs. Students amply experience the practical components of the theories they learn in class through field trips, study tours, internships and experiential learning.

Researchers and students are highly involved in international collaborations spanning the globe. Much of the region's pioneering work in nutrition and dietetics, landscape design, environment and natural resource management, and community and rural development has been conducted by FAFS faculty and students both on-site and in laboratories. FAFS's diverse strengths across multiple disciplines have elevated it to a regional center of excellence that integrates education, research and outreach while investing in future leaders who will address the global challenges of the 21st century.

Since its founding, FAFS has graduated 4,308 students encompassing 2,913 undergraduates and 1,395 graduates. In addition to 33 full-time faculty members, FAFS also benefits from the know-how and assistance of a select group of national and international experts to manage an annual average of 35 research and development projects and service contacts.
FAFS is home to the Departments of Agricultural Sciences, Animal and Veterinary Sciences,
Landscape Design and Ecosystem Management, and Nutrition and Food Sciences as well as two multidisciplinary centers: The Environment and Sustainable Development Unit (ESDU); and the Agricultural Research and Education Center (AREC). In addition, FAFS initiated the establishment of the interfaculty Nature Conservation Center for Sustainable Futures (IBSAR) as an open innovative and collaborative platform that promotes conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity for the purpose of enhancing wellbeing of people and nature.
Projects conducted by FAFS continue to provide a platform for training and information sharing that support key Lebanese ministries including the Ministries of Agriculture, Environment, Health, Social Affairs, and Economy and Trade and international organizations such as UNDP, FAO, UNIDO, UNICEF and WHO.

Among our strengths at FAFS is thinking holistically outside our specific disciplines and seeking collaboration and partnership with our alumni body. FAFS challenges the assumption that educational excellence at AUB is only available to the urban and wealthy as FAFS actively seeks funding to offer scholarships for outstanding students from underserved areas to join FAFS.

Mission and Activities

The mission of FAFS is to foster the sustainable enhancement of the health and well being of people and nature throughout Lebanon and the region. To achieve its goals, the Faculty uses basic and applied research as well as student-centered learning to prepare leaders and agents of change to address issues of local and global relevance at the nexus of human nutrition, food security and sustainable use of resources.
FAFS is the regional academic reference in agriculture, food, nutrition and the environment.

Achievements:

  • FAFS's academic programs and curricula set the standard for colleges in Lebanon and countries throughout the MENA region.
  • FAFS was the first to introduce the dietetics profession in Lebanon and the region as well as coordinate dietetic internships in internationally accredited medical centers.
  • FAFS published the first food composition tables for the MENA region, which document nutrient and vitamin content of local foods and remains the only reliable and comprehensive reference for the population of the MENA region.
  • FAFS is the first in the MENA region to introduce integrative and multidisciplinary programs such as agribusiness and landscape design and ecosystem management. In these programs, concepts of agriculture, business, management, and sustainability are incorporated in the curricula.
  • FAFS championed the first country profile on nutrition in 1992 as well as in 2007. This is in addition to instating important policy changes in Lebanon (such as promoting the use of iodized salt). FAFS's faculty members are routinely called upon to act as consultants and advisors for governments in the region.
  • FAFS introduced genetically improved cereals (wheat, barley, and sweet corn) into the region, along with local sheep breeds and larger livestock through artificial insemination.
  • FAFS was the first nongovernmental institution to reach out and work directly with farmers. Part of this outreach included developing farm machinery and implements adapted for Lebanon's terraced small farm holdings and specialized crops.
  • FAFS launched in 2002 the "Healthy Basket" project, a community supported agriculture program that assists Lebanese organic farmers to sustainably grow and sell their produce.
  • FAFS helped transition the poultry sector in Lebanon from a local industry to one that exports to the region.
  • FAFS was a pioneer in developing LAUBINA a nutritionally complete infant formula early in the 1960s.

For further information:

Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences
American University of Beirut
P.O. Box 11-0236
Riad El Solh,
Beirut 1107 2020
Lebanon
Tel: +961-1-343002
Fax: +961-1-744460
E-mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.aub.edu.lb/fafs