New York Times Feed

Jordan, July 29, 2020
Agriculture minister meets farmers, stakeholders in Karak

AMMAN — Minister of Environment and Acting Minister of Agriculture Saleh Kharabsheh on Monday said that it is of high importance to establish marketing companies that promotes agricultural products.

The minister made his remarks during a meeting with the president and members of the agriculture and water committee in the Karak governorate council, attended by a number of southern Ghor farmers, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

“The companies should be managed by the private sector, and the government must be prepared to be part of them, excluding management,” the minister said.

Establishing companies, in cooperation with the private sector, will contribute to improving the agriculture sector and serve farmers, the minister said, noting that work is ongoing to organise the sector by registering Jordanian farmers.

He said that those without certificates are not entitled to receive agricultural services or loans from the Agriculture Credit Corporation or to enter central market, according to Petra.

'His Majesty King Abdullah focuses on high-value products,' Kharabsheh said.

He noted that the ministry is considering implementing a plan for seasonal crops. The ministry encourages farmers to cultivate a number of varieties of tomato, which is an important crop.

The minister highlighted the importance of launching a database before the start of the next agricultural season, which would help reduce the production quantity and limit surplus.

He noted that trade of agricultural products in central market will be per kilo, based on the quality and categorisation of the product, according to Petra.

Kharabsheh also touched on the challenges regarding foreign labour in the agriculture sector, noting that violations of earlier instructions resulted in the entry of 3,000 to 4,000 foreign workers to the sector.

However, work is ongoing to reconsider issues related to work permits, describing the process as 'a trade'.

The minister noted that there will be an amendment to the law regarding an agricultural risk-management fund, adding that the law will be referred to Parliament to incorporate more measures to address risks that farmers face due to weather conditions.

He also announced plans for establishing training centres for fish farming, Petra reported.

For their part, the president and members of the governorate council in Karak said that the agriculture sector is vital for food security, which is also part of national security, thus it requires as much attention as other sectors.

They also discussed challenges facing the sector, and called for supporting young farmers and establishing various projects to help farmers improve their crops and reducing fees.