Gov’t allocates water to farmland amid heat wave

farmers farmer
Farmers harvest eggplants. (Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Jordan Valley Authority (JVA) said irrigation water allocations to farmland in the Jordan Valley will be increased to protect plants and trees in the wake of the heat wave battering the Kingdom and much of the region.اضافة اعلان

Agricultural experts argued that the decision bodes well with farmers, especially since extreme weather conditions, like the current one, destroy agricultural crops in the Jordan Valley, the country’s food basket.

But they demanded that higher water allocations be accorded to all regions, and that the quotas and quantities of irrigation water to farmers be increased throughout the year to prevent domestic drought.

The Jordan Meteorological Department forecast that the hot and dry heat wave will continue through early September, with temperatures soaring to 38°C in the capital Amman, and 42°C in the Jordan Valley on Saturday.

Mahmoud Al-Oran, head of the Jordanian Farmers Union, said that he supports any decision that “is in the interest of the farmers, but I wish to reassert that agriculture is not confined to the Jordan Valley area only.”

He insisted that the decision must the eastern and southern regions as well as others, especially since the crops currently produced come from various regions across Jordan.

He called for reducing famers’ electricity bills, especially in the summer. “What we currently hope for is that there will be concerted efforts between all state institutions to develop the agricultural sector and help the farmers.”

Asked if the quantities of irrigation water will cover the farmers’ needs, he said: “It is difficult to determine whether the rations are sufficient or not”.

“Therefore, the competent authorities should conduct a qualitative study every year to ensure that the quotas completely cover the needs,” he added in an interview with Jordan News.

Ibrahim Al-Sharif, head of the Jordan Farmers Association said the hiked quota was “a sound decision; especially with the high temperatures, as severe heat waves in previous years destroyed agricultural crops.”

He explained to Jordan News that the higher quantity of irrigation water will be sufficient, “due to the fact that the agriculture in the Jordan Valley is not large, especially since we rely more on winter crops there.”

Farmer Ali Al-Braizat said that agricultural crops in the Al-Wala Dam and Al-Heidan Valley in central Jordan were destroyed because of this year’s drought.

He said that repeated requests by farmers to the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and the JVA to “address the crisis caused by the drought and increase the amount of irrigation water, went unanswered.”

“Increasing the quantity of irrigation water to farmers in the current period may help to some extent, but is insufficient to treat the damage which already affected crops,” he told Jordan News.

Braizat pointed to the importance of increasing the quotas and quantities of irrigation water throughout the year. He said the hike must include all regions to protect crops and sustain production.

Read more Features
Jordan News