Agricultural produce expected to decline, prices to rise

Lack of rain, shift to less traditional crops blamed

(Photo: Jordan News
AMMAN — Agricultural production is witnessing a 50 percent decline this season, compared to last, and prices of vegetables are expected to rise as winter approaches, and temperatures drop, according to local media outlets.اضافة اعلان

Specialists attribute this decline to the shrinkage of the cultivated areas, delayed planting, and farmers’ shift to non-traditional varieties of crops or simply a reluctance to farm, due to the high costs involved.

Farmers, like specialists, seem to agree that the decline in the quantity of Jordan Valley produce at the onset of the winter season will lead to a rise in prices in the coming period, especially if temperatures drop further and particularly that the volume currently produced is 50 percent less than that of last season. Traditionally, the volume of Jordan Valley produce at this time of the year used to be several times higher than it is now.

The head of the Jordan Valley Farmers Union concurs that the current season will see a significant decline in agricultural production, compared to previous seasons, and says that in light of the increased demand for food, the selling prices of agricultural produce in local markets is bound to witness an increase.

According to Director of Al-Arda Central Market Ahmed Al-Khatalin, market imports mirror the lower volume of production in the Jordan Valley, compared to that of last season; he says that daily market imports are modest, ranging between 200 and 250 tons, compared to about 400 tons per day last season.

According to Director of the Plant Production Directorate at the Ministry of Agriculture Muhammad Al-Jammal, field crops are most affected by lack of rain. If precipitation does not reach about 15 percent by the middle of next month, crops will be compromised.

He also says that lack of rain in the northern regions is bound to result in decreased amounts of crops and higher production costs as farmers will have to irrigate crops at their expense.

Already farmers in Ramtha, northwest of Jordan, say that they lack sufficient quantities of wheat and barley grains for planting, which means they will not cultivate their lands this current season.

Farmers also call on the Ministry of Agriculture to compensate them for the losses they suffered over recent seasons, which witnessed a significant decline in the production of field crops in all governorates of the Kingdom and, consequently, great losses to farmers.

It cost farmers JD30 to buy grains, plant, fertilize and plow one dunum of grains in 2021, whereas in previous years, the cost was merely JD3. It would cost farmers JD370 for a ton of barley and JD450 for a ton of wheat if purchased from the Jordan Cooperative Corporation in this northern region.

2020 was a year of drought and high temperatures, which damaged the crops, especially those of wheat, say farmers, who complain about the fact that the Ministry of Agriculture does not compensate them for poor crops, due to nature’s whims, or increased seed prices. 

Director of the Jordan Cooperative Corporation in the North Region Hashem Al-Omari stated that the corporation sold about 1,300 tons and provided 100 tons of barley and 160 tons of wheat during the past few days.

Silos Director Faleh Al-Shatnawi denied that the silos administration sells wheat or barley to farmers, saying that the wheat in the North Supply Complex is not suitable for agriculture.

The corporation sold wheat and barley at subsidized prices to farmers for the current season through its seed sale stations in the northern region.

Read more National news