Agriculture ministry announces JD591mln strategy

Amman, The Ministry of Agriculture on Monday announced a JD591-million agricultural strategy focusing on the digitization and restructuring of the agricultural sector and boosting its productivity.

The 2020-2025 National Agricultural Development Strategy envisages a total of 174 interventions and projects at an estimated cost of JD591 million, said acting minister of agriculture Salih Kharabsheh at a press conference.

He explained that the strategy will be financed via a host of channels, including JD179 from the state’s treasury; JD310 million in lending from the Agricultural Credit Corporation and JD80 million from foreign aid and grants, noting that the funding gap is estimated at JD22 million.

Citing the strategy’s performance indicators, the minister said they include increasing the agricultural GDP as share of total GDP from JD2.6 billion now to JD3.66 billion by 2025 and boosting the added-value of agriculture to JD2.48 billion from JD1.6 billion.

Another key theme of the strategy is the creating of 65,000 jobs in the five-year period and replacing 21,000 foreign workers with Jordanians, Kharabsheh noted, adding that the strategy is also intended to increase the number of farmers using digital government-run agricultural services by 30 percent.

Another focus area of the strategy is export costs reduction to pave the road for a 15-percent increase in agricultural exports. Accordingly, the strategy is designed to help cut air and land freight costs by 12 percent and increase the productivity of food and agricultural manufacturers by 18 percent by 2025.

Furthermore, the strategy is pursuing a 10-percent increase in the forest area by 2025, Kharabsheh indicated.
Kharabsheh said that the coronavirus pandemic crisis brought to the fore a number of challenges facing the agricultural sector that were not addressed in previous agricultural policies.

The lack of comprehensive agricultural databases comes at the forefront of these challenges, the minister said, noting poor digitization or utilization of modern technologies in agriculture.

According to Kharabsheh, these challenges limited the agro produce’s access to retailers and consumers when the Kingdom enforced total lockdowns a few months ago.

Therefore, the minister said, the government revisited agricultural policies and endorsed the 2020-2025 National Agricultural Development Strategy focusing on the following priorities: the restructuring, digitization of the agricultural sector, the utilization of modern technology, enhancing production and productivity, focusing on strategic crops, developing the logistics chain of operations, uplifting the agro-processing chain, developing the export chain, and expanding forest and pasture areas.


Source: Jordan News Agency

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