Grain storage to hit 2.35 million tonnes in 2023

Grain silos in Jordan. (Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Jordan’s stock of grain reached 1.6 million tonnes, and will further increase to 2.35 million tonnes in 2023, once storage is expanded with the completion of new silos, secretary-general of the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply Dana Al-Zoubi said.اضافة اعلان

She said the expansion is in line with Jordan’s efforts to maintain a comfortable level of supplies to ensure food security domestically.

Zoubi told Jordan News that the efforts are already underway to enhance food security to reach self-sufficiency in all areas, especially with regards to strategic essential commodities and food staples, such as wheat and barley.

“We stopped building silos, with vertical storage, due to their high cost and moved towards horizontal storage due to the low cost of construction and control,” she said.

She added that the storage capacity of Juwaida grain silos will rise to about 250,000 tonnes with the completion of the expansion project.

She revealed that new grain storage areas will be set up next year in different places across the country, such as Qatraneh with a capacity of 500,000 tonnes, Al-Muwaqar with 100,000 tons, and Al-Ghabawi with 100,000 tonnes.

“Now, we have enough amounts of wheat that are sufficient to cover the need for 13 months,” she said.

Zoubi noted that there are other projects to enhance food security. “We are working with Egypt to establish logistical places for storage, packaging, and manufacturing industries,” she said.

The director-general of the Jordan Silos and Supply General Company, Emad Al-Tarawneh, said that the expansion of the Juwaida grain silos was completed and that the storage space was inaugurated earlier this week. He said the project is funded by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, with a value of JD70 million.

“The Aqaba grain silos are in the final stages,” he said. But he added that a grain silo in northern Jordan still awaits funds to start the project.

Tarawneh explained that the local production of wheat and barley is weak, but that the Ministry of Agriculture is offering incentives to encourage farmers to cultivate wheat and barley.

Mahmoud Al-Oran, secretary-general of the Jordanian Farmers Union, said Jordan had the option for early planning, but did not until Russia invaded Ukraine last February.

“We had an early option to exploit the agricultural areas and provide the necessary support to Jordanian farmers to cultivate grain, and when the Russian-Ukrainian war occurred, we started to move,” he said. “Now, it is noticeable that the crisis is worsening.”

“We need to develop an emergency plan to get out of the crisis, as Jordan imports 900,000 tonnes of wheat annually, while the local production is 20,000 tonnes,” he explained.

He said that the irrigated area is 3 million dunums, which “is not being exploited well.”

“We need good planning and to work according to serious strategies,” he said, adding that expansion projects carry a reassuring message to citizens that “we have enough wheat.”

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