Center suggests modern agricultural methods to boost sector

(File photo: Ameer Khalefih/Jordan News)
AMMAN — According to Director-General of the National Agricultural Research Center Nizar Haddad, farmers should start using modern agricultural methods and begin growing new and unconventional types of vegetables and fruits in order to improve the sector and their welfare.اضافة اعلان

Farmers have been complaining about challenges they face habitually – lack of water, shrinkage of agricultural land, high prices of production input and, this winter, frost that damage crops.

According to Haddad, however, the current year is “an excellent agricultural season” due to the loans granted by the Agricultural Credit Fund, “in addition to the great Royal interest in the sector” and the government’s allocation of “significant sums of money” to agriculture.

While admitting that the sector faces challenges, he instated that the credit fund helps farmers, “who are going through good conditions”, so “we have to shed light on both positive and negative” aspects.

“The Agricultural Credit Fund is always ready to support farmers, and any new ideas aimed at improving the agricultural sector are supported by the fund,” he added.
Farmers say they cannot afford credit, equipment under present situation
He also suggested taking measures to counter some of the external factors that impede the sector’s development.

“There are global negative factors that may hinder farmers, most notably the high prices of production inputs, but why do we not go toward producing fertilizers locally,” he asked.

Head of the Jordan Farmers Association Ibrahim Al-Sharif told Jordan News that “the use of modern equipment for agriculture does not work, especially since there are certain things in agriculture that must be done by hand, and equipment cannot be used to accomplish them”.

Moreover, “such equipment is very expensive and farmers cannot incur more costs”, he said, stressing that many farmers go through difficult conditions, “and a large number may end up bankrupt and in prison”.

Sharif pointed out that the winter frost “reduced production and inflicted great losses on farmers. The quantity of production from now until June is moderate, and there is no surplus production like in previous years due to the impact of frost waves, which is reflected on products until now”.

Farmer Bassel Ramadneh told Jordan News that “farmers face great challenges, and the situation is going from bad to worse”, adding that “global conditions, starting with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and passing through the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, greatly affected farmers”.

According to him, “the government should develop a medium- and long-term plan to help agriculture, which is an indispensable sector”.

“Alternative solutions are not possible at the present time due to the lack of liquidity among farmers and because of the high production costs,” he said in response to Haddad suggestion.

“Taking a loan from the Agricultural Credit Fund is useless since farmers cannot pay their financial obligations under these difficult circumstances and in the absence of production,” he said.

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