Farmers divided over national plan for sustainable agriculture

Farmer works in his land. (File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Ministry of Agriculture has completed 17 initiatives out of 31 for the current year within the national plan for sustainable agriculture for the years 2022–2025. اضافة اعلان

The initiatives raised some eyebrows among experts in the agricultural sector, with some stressing that these initiatives are important, and others demanding more realistic solutions.

Of the 31 initiatives, eight were completed in the first quarter of this year, seven others, of which five were completed, were slated for the second quarter of this year, and eight were scheduled for the third quarter; of these, three were completed. The remaining eight are to be finished in the last quarter of this year; seven are still in progress.

The initiatives aim at sustaining agriculture through a long-term plan whose goals include liberalizing the markets for agricultural production requirements and poultry feed.

That could be attained through providing agricultural loans to raise the efficiency of the agricultural and rural sectors, launching the agro-industrial complex, as well as entering into partnerships with the private sector to invest in plant stations.

Other goals include supporting women empowerment projects, and developing an agricultural innovation incubator.

The head of the plant-production division at the Directorate of Agriculture in Irbid Governorate, Hashem Al-Omari, told Jordan News that “all initiatives benefit the agricultural sector as a whole, farmers, as well as citizens”.

He added that “they are all part of a chain, and when one is affected in a positive way it will affect the others in the same way, including the government, which will reap the benefit from these initiatives”.

Omari said that “these initiatives work to produce crops and ensure high quality, in addition to strengthening the partnership between the public and private sectors, and boosting self-sufficiency”.

“The importance of this plan lies in the fact that it is long term, meaning that we will notice its impact over some years, and thus it will achieve the desired sustainability in the agricultural sector,” Omari pointed out.

Head of the Jordanian Farmers Union Mahmoud Al-Oran told Jordan News he had “some observations” concerning the plan, most notable the absence of meteorologists in it.

“We are currently witnessing climate change, and many agricultural crops have been destroyed due to the harsh cold and extreme heat. Climate change and its impact on agricultural crops cannot be excluded from the challenges that stand in the way of sustainable agriculture,” Oran said.

Oran said that “farmers are going through difficult circumstances, and facing new sets of challenges, most prominent of which are financial, especially after two years of measures to deal with the pandemic, and they need radical and immediate solutions to enable them to overcome these challenges”.

“You cannot give them JD5,000 for example, when they have to spend hundreds of thousands of dinars to rehabilitate their farms, which incurred thousands of dinars in losses, and ask them to fix their situation with this little amount,” he concluded.

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