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Agriculture Ministry to announce comprehensive development plan for sector soon — Hneifat

By JT - Jan 15,2022 - Last updated at Jan 15,2022

AMMAN — The agricultural sector’s capital expenditures amounted to JD30 million for the first time, Minister of Agriculture Khalid Hneifat said on Saturday.

During an interview with the Jordan News Agency, Petra, the minister referred to the comprehensive agricultural development plan, which aims to increase the gross domestic product of the agricultural sector over the next four years.

The plan, he noted, will create about 8,000 permanent jobs annually, which will contribute to reducing poverty, promoting development, and increasing the empowerment of rural women working in agriculture, by supporting their production projects.

On the sector's investment opportunities, Hneifat said that about 36 investment opportunities will be offered in the two basins of Al Hammad and Al Sarhan that can supply agricultural projects with approximately 25mcm of water.

The projected investments should be within the ministry's terms to support the sector for the purposes of exporting, manufacturing or cultivating crops that "do not harm the Jordanian farmer", Hneifat noted.

Investment will be made in the food industries by establishing three factories in the southern Jordan Valley, especially for drying and producing tomato paste, he pointed out.

On the mechanism to support Jordanian farmers, the minister referred to an increase in the budget of the agricultural lending portfolio, which increased in 2021 to JD100 million from JD70 million, adding that JD35 million was disbursed in the form of interest-free agricultural loans, which created about 700 permanent jobs. 

The same programme will be implemented in 2022, but with intensified monitoring to provide assistance for "real and successful" projects and “avoid supporting any ghost enterprises, or fake livestock possessions, which amounted to 40 per cent of the farmers who received aid without owning herds and depleted the ministry's resources”, he noted.

Hneifat added that focus will be on "successful" projects that provided job opportunities in the farming sector, especially those run by young farmers, who received about JD5 million of the ministry's allocations, noting that their projects "achieved leadership and success" and created many job opportunities. 

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