To enhance agri-industry, sectors must cooperate — stakeholders

Farm Farmer Farmers
(File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Representatives of Jordan’s industrial and agricultural sectors stressed the importance of cooperate between the two sectors to enhance national food security and realize mutual benefits.اضافة اعلان

In statements to the Jordan News Agency, Petra, stakeholders said that Jordan’s food industries have “remarkable” export potential.

The development of the agricultural sector requires a proper environment for agri-industrial integration, they said, both in terms of enhancing legislation and policies related to the sector and providing incentives and farmer protection.

The Jordan Chamber of Industry’s (JCI) representative for food, catering, agricultural, and livestock industries, Mohammad Jitan, said agri-manufacturing aims to meet the local market’s needs, support the sector to be self-sufficient, and increase export volume due to the high global demand for the sector’s products.

National food industries have “great” export potential to different global countries, he noted.

Referring to Royal directives, he said that the development of food industries is a “top” priority to achieve national food security, stressing the importance of supporting industries that use local production inputs, which have high added value.

The transition to agri-industry requires a proper environment for the integration of the two sectors and the implementation of initiatives and investment within the food industry and security sectors as outlined in the Kingdom’s Economic Modernization Vision, he said.

JCI representative for chemical and cosmetic industries Ahmed Al-Biss said that the production value of Jordan’s existing food industries amounts to JD3.5 billion annually. This sector and the Kingdom’s agricultural industries “need to be reassessed”, he said, as the Kingdom’s various agricultural industries and its vegetable production exceed the local market’s needs.

What is more, the regional export map has changed, as countries that used to import Jordanian products are developing their own production plans, leading at times to production backlogs, he said.

Through an evaluation of foreign imports, the sector can identify alternative local agricultural industries and support manufacturing to meet the local market’s needs, he said, highlighting Jordan’s potential to develop its productive capacities.

Strategic plans should also be launched to improve the productivity of Jordan’s agricultural sector, as surplus agricultural produce can be used in manufactured products, the representative said.

For example, the Kingdom produces more than 150,000 tonnes of potatoes, where local consumption is estimated at 100,000 tonnes. Biss called for manufacturing packaged potatoes to replace imports, as well as producing tomato paste due to the availability of large quantities of tomatoes.

Other agricultural products can be used similarly in the industrial sector by developing related production processes, especially in the dairy and cheese industries, he said.

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