Agriculture ministry committed to balancing local production, demand

(File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Ministry of Agriculture has issued a statement responding to recent discussions surrounding the increasing presence of imported fruits and vegetables in local markets, according to Ammon News. اضافة اعلان

In its statement, the ministry criticized the head of the Jordan Exporters and Producers Association for Fruit and Vegetables (JEPA) for making statements that do not represent farmers' interests but rather protect personal farming products sold at “unacceptable” prices.

The ministry underlined its commitment to protecting local production, preventing monopolies and consumer exploitation, and maintaining a balanced agricultural equation among farmers, traders, and consumers.

Safeguarding local production
The ministry reiterated its approach to safeguarding local production by regulating the import process while ensuring an acceptable balance for all stakeholders, including farmers, traders, and citizens.

The aim is to ensure product availability without allowing any party to inflate prices.

Produce updates
In terms of specific produce, the ministry announced that garlic imports have been halted since February this year to encourage local garlic cultivation and achieve self-sufficiency.

The ministry's policies in the past three years have extended the period of self-sufficiency in garlic from two months in 2021 to six months in 2022, with a target of reaching nine months in the current year.

Similarly, potato imports have been suspended since 2017 to promote domestic potato production. However, in late October of last year, due to frost damage and a decrease in market availability, the ministry temporarily allowed imports of around 200 tonnes to stabilize prices for citizens.

Addressing lemon imports, the ministry regulates the timing to prevent competition with local products. While imports of Arab lemons have been stopped since May 25, 2023, African lemons continue to be imported to meet market demand, as they do not directly compete with local products due to their higher costs and shipping expenses.

Concerning peaches, the ministry suspends imports from the end of May each year, despite the actual production meeting market needs starting in early July. However, due to shipping delays, a container of peaches arrived from South Africa in late May.

The ministry justified this import by explaining that the quantity of peaches available in the market was still insufficient to meet demand, and the 19-tonne shipment would not flood the market.

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