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Water scarcity has limited impact on food security, minister says

A man collects green beans in this photo taken on December 3, 2006. (Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Water scarcity has a limited impact on the agricultural sector, and food security is not linked only to agriculture but includes other elements in the industrial and trade sector, Minister of Agriculture Khalid Al-Hunaifat said, according to Al-Ghad News.اضافة اعلان

While Jordan imports 97 percent of its wheat, it maintains 90 percent self-sufficiency in its production of fruits and vegetables, and produces nearly 100 percent of its own poultry, the minister said, adding that the negative effects of water scarcity on the agricultural sector is minimal with no impact on food security.

The ministry is working to direct farmers to water-saving crops and the use of technology, as well as supporting farmers with interest-free loans.  Moreover, the ministry has implemented a number of water harvesting programs through the development of 10,000 wells to increase water supplies.

Hunaifat assured that the ministry has contingency measures for 2021 to support farmers in the event of low precipitation during the rainy season. “We are in the advanced stages of achieving food security despite climate change due to existing strategies and the King’s support to agricultural sector,” he said.

Agriculture expert Jamal Al-Batsh said that it is too early to be concerned about rain as the season is still in its beginning, noting that the last five years witnessed a delay in the agricultural season. “The important thing is not the amount of rainfall, but the distribution of rain.”

The Ministry of Agriculture has a food security strategy prepared in light of COVID-19 for the years 2021–2030, which addresses future increases in food demand in light of a growing population and irregular food consumption patterns.

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