Farmers reluctant to prepare for upcoming winter season

Farmers farmer
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AMMAN — At this time of the year, farmers usually prepare to sow their winter crops, but many decided against it this time, claiming that it is not a feasible endeavor.اضافة اعلان

Saad Al-Naimat, a Jordan Valley farmer, told Jordan News he did not take any steps to prepare for the coming winter season. Several factors “compel him not to plant”, he said, including the desire “to avoid large financial costs” that he “will not be able to recover from selling the crops”.

Naimat said: “There is no reason for me to work. All factors are against me as a farmer. There is a severe shortage of water and there is no manpower.”

“Setting price caps throughout the year increases the financial burden on us, farmers. The losses of the past years have accumulated, so we are drained, and have nothing left, so stopping the loss is profitable,” he added.

Nawash Al-Yazji, another Jordan Valley farmer and a member of the Jordan Valley Farmers Union, told Jordan News that the Ministry of Labor has put restrictions on the number of agricultural workers farmers could employ, “and there are no alternatives. Jordanians working in the agricultural sector are few, labor is more expensive, and we are committed to employing 70 percent of Jordanians.”

“The very high prices of agricultural fertilizers, seeds, and more make us unable to compete externally. Egypt, for example, has free water and low-cost labor,” he added.

Regarding the reluctance to prepare for the upcoming winter season, Yazji said: “Our water dilemma, the high costs of production and the lack of labor force constitute a great challenge. Farmers will wait for the beginning of the season; if water is available, they will plant, otherwise they will not be able to.”

Head of the Jordan Valley Farmers Union Adnan Khaddam told Jordan News that “the situation of farmers over the years and the accumulation of losses, high production costs, especially fertilizers and pesticides, fear of water shortage, and internal and external marketing of agricultural produce” are reasons for many farmers’ reluctance to prepare for the season.

“We need to overcome this problem, to find a quick solution and help market our produce abroad, support farms and provide the water needed to irrigate the crops,” he said, adding that the “government rationed water at 50 percent”.

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