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COVID-19 and summer fires

May 07,2020 - Last updated at May 07,2020

AlRai’s Ahmad Hasban said that for two years in a row, Jordan has seen plentiful rainfall, amid expectations of a good agricultural season that could be even better than last year’s.

Hasban said that this necessitates that the government pay more attention to the agricultural sector and support it, regarding fire hazards in particular.

He said that the government must learn from last year, as the Kingdom saw abundant rains that lead to unprecedented growth of weeds, which ultimately lead to disabling farmers from ploughing their lands. He said that these weeds provided an environment inviting of fires, as 2019 saw 33 fires that set ablaze hundreds of dunums of trees, wheat and barley, and left complete or partial destruction behind them.

The writer said that in 2020, the situation is more difficult, as in addition to heavy rainfall, came the COVID-19 crisis and further disabled farmers from ploughing their lands due to the imposed curfew and other measures.

Hasban said that when movement permits were issued, they focused on farmers in lands of large areas, and neglected smaller land plots in which weeds spread significantly more than 2019, even though they host important economic tributaries like olive trees.

The columnist said that the demand in this regard is for the government to include fire protection within its coronavirus crisis economic impact programmes and provide assistance to farmers to remove dry weeds from their lands.

Hasban said that it is not difficult for concerned authorities to take the necessary measures to protect resources that Jordan needs now more than ever. 


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