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Jordan, October 9, 2019
Ministry looks to boost economic growth through fish production

AMMAN — The Ministry of Agriculture is looking to intensify its interests in the fish production and sales sector, hoping to create new job opportunities and generate greater income.

Deputy General Secretary of Animal Resources Ali Anu Nokta said in a press conference on Tuesday that on average, the Kingdom produces 265 tonnes of fish from fishing in the sea, 400 tonnes from dams and the Jordan River, and 1330 tonnes from fish farms each year.

He said that the private sector, mostly represented in fish farms, has “extensive experience that could be learned from”, adding that the reason is “their being able to afford the machinery needed to produce huge amounts of fish”.

According to a recent survey published by the Department of Statistics, fish farms produced 1,300 tonnes in 2018, while maritime fishing produced only 264 tonnes.

Saeb Halsa, former head of the fishing-monitoring department of the Ministry of Agriculture, said in previous remarks to The Jordan Times that “private companies, both Jordanian and non-Jordanian, own 99 per cent of the farms”.

The ministry now plans on creating an agricultural society specifically for fish production, consisting of stations with the same machinery used in privately-owned farms, according to Abu Nokta.

“Fish production is a promising sector, given that if water and machinery are provided, it does not require much labour or operational costs. Along with the protection offered by the ministry, it should generate high profits at very low costs,” Agriculture Ministry Spokesperson Lawrence Majali told The Jordan Times in a phone interview.

Locally-produced fish are protected from competition, he said, as it is prohibited to import similar varieties.