November 30 2022 1:06 AM E-paper Subscribe Sign in My Account Sign out

Farmers organize sit-in, present demands to Doghmi

2 farmers
(Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — A number of farmers on Sunday organized a sit-in demanding the cancelation or postponing of a decision to include foreign workers in the social security system and reversing an increase in work permit fees.اضافة اعلان

Farmers proceeded to the Parliament after holding their sit-in at the Ministry of Labor, where they could not meet with any ministry official, according to farmers who spoke with Jordan News on Monday.

Ibrahim Sharif, president of Jordan Farmers Union said the protesters were invited into Parliament and held a meeting with House Speaker Abdul Kareem Al-Doghmi, who listened to their demands and requested a ten-day period to discuss their grievances with the concerned officials.

Sunday’s sit-in was one of a series of efforts by farmers to voice their sector’s challenges, aggravated in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The sector has been suffering the closure of the Syrian border, which accesses Eastern Europe; one of the major markets for Jordanian produce, according to Sharif.  Furthermore, 25,000 green houses in the Jordan Valley used to produce vegetables for Eastern European markets under contracts that have been canceled following the Syrian border closure.  Sharif also called for finding a sustainable water management strategy to avoid water shortages that would affect the consistency of the yearly produce.

Famers also complained about the fluctuation in the prices of their produce, which oftentimes drops to less than production cost, stressing the need to assign maximal and minimal prices as a measure to create balance and protect farmers and consumers alike.

They stressed that the agricultural sector is “the backbone of the national economy”, and that any challenges to this sector would negatively affect all economic sectors.

On the farmers’ complaints against social security subscription, Social Security Corporation (SSC) spokesman, Shaman Majali, said the SSC has postponed its decision to enforce mandatory subscription on all farmers to be effective as of 2023 in light of the challenges they currently face. The decision was part of a general strategy to include all workers in the system under the Agriculture Workers Bylaw which went effective in May this year.

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