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October 21 2021 3:15 PM ˚

Local initiative promotes agricultural sovereignty

The participants planted seeds in different areas across the capital during November of last year. They are now reaping what they sowed as they collaborate with agricultural experts not for profit, bu
The participants planted seeds in different areas across the capital during November of last year. They are now reaping what they sowed as they collaborate with agricultural experts not for profit, but for liberation. (Photo: Unsplash)
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AMMAN — Underneath the warm May sun, farmers, residents, and landowners joined hands in efforts to reignite faith in local production. A group of men in traditional dresses sang along to the sound of the flute in a field of wheat, before women joined in and danced Dabka.اضافة اعلان

The participants planted seeds in different areas across the capital during November of last year. They are now reaping what they sowed as they collaborate with agricultural experts not for profit, but for liberation.

“Our cultivation is not monetary,” Zikra for Popular Learning, the organizer of the project, wrote in a statement on Facebook. “It is not for trade. It is for sustenance and its purpose is to free us from external domination.” 

After an open call for help on social media platforms, Rabee Zureikat, founder of Zikra, launched the campaign to harvest wheat in Amman on Friday.

The campaign emphasized the importance of harvesting the fruits of Jordanian land, rather than depending on imports. Zikra, which is an educational initiative targeting the Jordanian population, teaches participants the processes of planting and harvesting from A to Z, in order to build sovereignty over food and nutrition. 

According to Zureikat’s Facebook post, 60 individuals and families took part in the campaign, with the hopes of multiplying that number in coming years.

“This project teaches us a sense of belonging and protectiveness over our land to save our dignity and sovereignty. If we lose our connection to our roots, we could very easily lose our identity,” he wrote.

The campaigners will equally divide the crop among the participants after deducting 10 percent for zakat (Islamic tax on assets).  

The initiative received a good response from the Jordanian public, with one Twitter user describing the scene as “a piece of art” that juxtaposes consumption and production; dependence and liberation, as Jordanians harvested wheat in front of French-owned Carrefour.

An online community dubbed, “We Love Jordan,” also showed its support for the national campaign, in hopes of inspiring similar projects.

Fawz Shocair commented on Facebook, saying “this must be a national goal, not merely an individual effort.”

Musa Al-Saket, founder of Made in Jordan, said he appreciated the initiative but reiterated the importance of implementing it on a larger scale.

“We no longer have an economical and agricultural compass in Jordan. This initiative is wonderful, and it is much appreciated, but it is not enough for long-term self-sufficiency if it is not reflected in governmental policies,” he told Jordan News.

Saket added that creating a strategy for agricultural planning is essential, especially considering Jordan was an exporter of wheat prior to 1989.

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