Agriculture ministry announces JD591mln strategy…1st & final add
Kharabsheh noted that the ministry reviewed the strategy with local and international partners, including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Food Program (WFP), the World Bank (WB) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), to ensure it is comprehensive and consistent with best global practice.
All other sub-strategies were incorporated in the new strategy with the aim of having a uniform post-COVID-19 agricultural policy, Kharabsheh pointed out, adding: “The strategies that were integrated included, the fish and marine products strategy, the date palm strategy, the rangelands strategy and forest policies.”
Given the importance of agriculture in the food supply chain, Kharabsheh noted, the government has introduced a number of finance and credit incentives to boost producers’ resilience in crisis time and also expanded the Agricultural Risk Fund’s umbrella to cover all risks.
“The government has also provided a set of fee exemptions to help organize the agricultural sector, support the agricultural exports chain, and encourage agricultural cooperatives to assume their role in employment and job creation,” he said.
The minister indicated that the government will establish centers for agricultural services and training on modern agricultural technology, especially aquaponics and hydroponics, to enable unemployed Jordanians to gain skills much-needed in the agricultural labor market.
Detailing the strategy’s themes and focus areas, Kharabsheh said the restructuring of the sector entails the following: amending the Jordan Farmers Union’s law, revisiting the agricultural cooperatives’ bylaw, establishing a comprehensive agricultural database, relieving farmers from registration fees when licensing an individual enterprise, exempting cooperatives from registration fees as well as relieving new cooperatives from service and auditing fees.
With regard to digitization, Kharabsheh revealed that an electronic platform for farm records, market access, extension services, risk management and water productivity will be set up.
Detailing another theme of the strategy, the utilization of modern technology, the minister indicated that 17 training centers will be established and a funding tranche will be available to hydroponics, aquaponics, and fish farming projects.
Turning to production and productivity, Kharabsheh said this theme envisions partnerships with the private sector to make full use of agricultural stations, a funding program to invest in state land and focus on strategic crops, in addition to providing finance to projects launched by agricultural cooperatives.
As for the development of the logistics chain of operations, it is planned in the strategy to set up an agricultural services company and provide funding for the establishment of packaging and grading stations, in addition to the establishment of cold stores for vegetables and fruits.
With regard to the development of the agro-processing chain, the minister said this theme includes the permanent exhibition of rural products and a financing package for agro-industries projects.
In a bid to boost exports, the strategy relieves farmers and seed companies as well as exports from testing fees for a year. This will be supported by the launch of an agro produce quality and safety system.
As for the development forestry and rangeland, the strategy envisages a national afforestation project and community engagement for the protection of forests through ecological parks (job creation through forest resources).
Source: Jordan News Agency