If you want to understand the ecology, as well as the food and farming economy of a country you have to understand the evolution of its land tenure. In Lebanon, where land distribution is one of the most unequal in the world (countries that are worse: the US and Jordan), land ownership goes back to Ottoman times, when the regional governors farmed out lands to rich families. In South Lebanon, the creation of the state of Lebanon and then the protracted war and Israeli occupation blurred the tenure system, and the land ended up into the hands of those who had been working it under a tributary system, the peasants.
This is one of the rare occasions in which we read about these issues in the press. In the village of Tar Harfa near Sour in South Lebanon, the Lebanese state is finally laying out the new cadastre, and allocating the land to those who own the deeds. But a family, the Mamlouk, is claiming that they own 7/8 of the lands of the village according to, this article says, Ottoman documents.
The term Mamlouk (or Mamluk) refers to former warrior-slaves (the Arabic literal translation is "owned") who became extremely influential between the 12th century and the 19th century AD, and effectively ruled the southern part of the Levant from Egypt through puppet rulers. Their influence went as far north as Syria and Lebanon.