The agriculture sector constitutes 6% of Kingdom’s GDP

(File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Minister of Agriculture, Engineer Khaled Musa Al-Henefat, stated that the agricultural sector contributes to approximately 20 percent of the national economy and represents 6 percent of the GDP.اضافة اعلان

During a panel discussion held at on Tuesday, Al-Henefat presented an overview of the achievements of the Ministry of Agriculture, including the launch of the National Agricultural Development Strategy 2020-2025, the National Plan for Sustainable Agriculture 2022-2025, and the increase of the capital of the Agricultural Credit Corporation to JD100 million, the Jordan News Agency, Petra reported.

First strategy for food security
He also highlighted the ministry's launch of the first strategy for food security in the Kingdom and the liberation of agricultural input markets from monopolies.

In addition, facilitating the flow of agricultural goods, eliminating trade barriers, and launching the Regional Food Security Observatory.

Regarding providing support to the agricultural sector, Al-Henefat mentioned that the ministry provided support worth JD125 million through the Resilience in Agriculture program and the development of the value chain and innovation, Aradi.

Strengthening partnerships with the private sector
Al-Henefat emphasized the importance of strengthening partnership with the private sector to increase investment in the agricultural sector.

The ministry has approved a unified contract to increase private sector participation in agricultural investment, launched the Agricultural Stations Investment Project, and established agricultural industrial complexes in the Southern Jordan Valley.

Additionally, two agreements were signed with private sector investors to implement two factories with five production lines.

He pointed to the project of stimulating industries in industrial cities, which the ministry has adopted, and the signing of four agreements with private sector companies to establish four agricultural industries factories in industrial cities.

Jordanian, Palestinian cooperation
He also highlighted the opening of the headquarters of the Jordanian-Palestinian company for marketing agricultural products in Amman, and its first branch in Jericho.

He mentioned that the company has started exporting to 14 European markets and four Gulf markets.

He expects the company's exports to reach 10,000 tonnes in 2023, after reaching 2,000 tonnes in 2022.

Regarding the food security file, JD48 million has been allocated to finance 11,308 food projects as part of the agricultural plan priorities.

As for animal care, he said that the ministry has completed the construction works of the veterinary quarantine in the Sarta/Mafraq Governorate and it has been operational.

He added that the ministry has completed the evaluation of two existing buildings to convert them into veterinary hospitals in the central and southern parts of the Kingdom, and the implementation is underway.

In addition, a tender has been launched to purchase vaccines worth JD3 million for a comprehensive campaign for numbering and vaccination against foot-and-mouth disease.

Activation of technology
Regarding the activation of technology in the agricultural sector, Al-Henefat said that the ministry has worked on improving the efficiency of irrigation water use and water supply through several methods, including water harvesting and sprinkler irrigation. The development of the agricultural innovation incubator has also been completed, and 29 agreements have been signed to benefit from its services.

He also mentioned the allocation of JD2.5 million to support the benefits of loans for 4,050 projects in the areas of water irrigation efficiency technology and the use of modern irrigation systems, of which 75 percent has been implemented.

Al-Henefat highlighted the support for the construction of 2,500 rainwater collection wells at a cost of JD3 million, and the construction of 63 reservoirs and earthen dams in the Badia and various regions of the Kingdom in 2022.

Regarding the ability of the agricultural sector to create employment opportunities, he mentioned the completion of the construction of six training centers for farmers and unemployed individuals on modern agricultural technology (hydroponics and aquaponics). In addition, 1,250 trainees have been trained in modern agricultural techniques, and support has been provided for women empowerment projects, with the allocation of JD5 million to implement 2,488 projects for rural women.

Afforestation in the Kingdom
He continued to address national afforestation projects, saying that 150 kilometers have been afforested along the roads.

The ministry has also issued a tender for afforestation in three areas: Qataraneh, Al-Abiad, and Ainazza, covering an area of 4,000 dunams.

Additionally, they have started afforestation on 100 dunams in Al-Hisha Forest and launched a tender to purchase 50,000 seedlings for afforestation on 4,000 dunams in the governorates of Irbid, Jerash, and Ajloun.

He emphasized the importance of agricultural guidance in the development of the sector. The ministry has completed the preparation of 22 guidance centers and issued a tender for the purchase of electronic guidance systems. They have also launched a tender to establish a rural products exhibition in Amman, covering an area of 8,000 square meters with a cost of JD3 million.

He mentioned the completion of 22 guidance centers for farmer training, in addition to the purchase of electric cars to support field guidance services.

They have also launched an experiment with an electronic land registration system.

According to Al-Henefat, the ministry has launched an agricultural marketing company that has concluded contractual agriculture agreements with a number of local farmers and signed contracts with seven European countries. Within the stimulus plan for food industries, agreements have been signed to establish 12 factories in industrial cities.

He confirmed that the ministry is making efforts to protect local products and maintain traditional markets. He stressed that there is no monopoly in the meat market and that the door is open to qualified companies that meet the import requirements.

He stated that the prices of sacrificial animals (livestock for religious rituals) will remain stable within the average range, and sufficient quantities are available to meet the demand. He also mentioned diversifying the sources of meat imports to ensure providing the product with the appropriate quality and price for everyone.

Regarding government support for local wheat, he confirmed that the ministry purchases it at double the world prices and called for expanding its cultivation.

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