Jordan, WB sign $125m grant to support agriculture, combat climate change

Farm Farmer Farmers
A woman works in a field in the Jordan Valley in this undated photo. (File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Jordan and the World Bank on Tuesday signed a loan agreement for the Agriculture Resilience, Value Chain Development, and Innovation (ARDI or “My Land”) program, on the sidelines of the World Bank annual meetings in Washington, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.اضافة اعلان

The $125 million program, approved by the World Bank on September 29, aims to strengthen the development of Jordan’s agriculture sector by enhancing its climate resilience, increasing competitiveness and inclusion, and ensuring medium- to long-term food security, in line with Jordan’s National Sustainable Agriculture Plan and Vision for Economic Modernization.

From 2022 to 2027, the program will provide some 30,000 farming households with financing to adopt climate-smart and water-efficient agriculture practices, provide needs-based training, and generate about 12,000 job opportunities, focusing on Jordanian women and youth, the statement added.

The program will also create economic opportunities for Syrian refugees.

Agriculture accounts for approximately 20 percent of Jordan’s exports, yet only about half of the export potential for fruits and vegetables was achieved.

Climate change significantly worsens water scarcity and increases the risk of drought, affecting agricultural productivity and rural livelihoods.

A set of structural factors, such as the loss of key transport routes through Syria and lack of investment in supply chain infrastructure, led to a decline in competitiveness in local markets, and in exports.

According to Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Nasser Al-Shraideh: “The ARDI program supports key pillars of the National Sustainable Agriculture Plan and Jordan’s Economic Vision 2033. It combines policy reform with significant investments on the ground, and highlights Jordan’s commitment to creating an enabling environment to transform the agriculture sector and realize its full growth potential.

“The program further supports achieving a set of cornerstone results, under the National Plan for Sustainable Agriculture umbrella, to establish an adequate enabling policy and investment environment for private sector-led growth in the agriculture sector.”

The ARDI program is aimed at addressing critical challenges facing the sector along two pillars: “climate resilience and sustainability” and “competitiveness and exports”.

“Investing in agricultural production and value chains can help serve a growing local market and contribute to food security,” said regional World Bank director Jean-Christophe Carret.

Carret added: “The ARDI program will invest in building the skills and knowledge of women, youth, and refugees to increase their employability and support the transition to formal employment.”

The Ministry of Agriculture, the National Agriculture Research Centre, and the Agriculture Credit Corporation will implement the program under a whole-of-government approach, involving other relevant line ministries and agencies.

The ARDI program is financed through a $95.6 million contribution from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, a $23.9 million grant from the Global Concessional Financing Facility, and a $5.5 million grant from the Partnership for Improving Prospects for Forcibly Displaced Persons and Host Communities, supported by the Netherlands.

Read more Business
Jordan News