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Agriculture sector reels under products' price hike — farmers union

By Batool Ghaith - Oct 13,2021 - Last updated at Oct 13,2021

Farmers are facing major price hikes for all the requirements of agricultural production, according to the Jordan Valley Farmers Union (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Farmers are facing major price hikes for all the requirements of agricultural production such as seeds, fertilisers, treatments and plastic, which exacerbates the challenges they were already facing, according to the Jordan Valley Farmers Union.

The farmers union said the prices of these supplies increased between 50 and 200 per cent in less than two months.

Adnan Khaddam, president of the Jordan Valley Farmers Union, said that the price hike is “unjustified”. 

He noted that it would prompt a large number of farmers to refrain from cultivating their land during the current period due to the high required costs.

“Farmers are currently unable to purchase the tools to maintain production in the required manner, due to the significant increase in the prices of production inputs,” Khaddam told The Jordan Times on Wednesday.

He noted that some tools “have exceeded a 300 percent hike, at a time when farmers are in dire need of liquidity to spend on their farms, especially with the high wages of labour”.

Khaddam pointed out that the price hike will negatively affect the quality and quantity of production and will likely cause farmers to incur heavy losses.

“This will lead to increasing poverty and unemployment rates in the Kingdom, in addition to the inability of citizens to purchase the products due to the price hike,” he added.

Khaddam called on the government to help farmers and make steps to solve the issue.

Ameed Alabed, Secretary of the Syndicate of Agricultural Materials Traders, said that the requirements of agricultural production, such as fertilisers, pesticides and seeds, are produced by agricultural companies. 

“The factories in Jordan that provide agricultural requirements are transformational factories. They transform raw materials from international or local sources, such as phosphate and potash, and make the agricultural requirements,” Abed told The Jordan Times over the phone.

The agricultural sector in Jordan, Abed added, is not made up of investment companies, but rather farmers who represent the average Jordanian. Therefore, the global price hike will affect them immensely.

“We are expecting more price hikes in the next upcoming months,” he said.

Abed said that the Jordan Phosphate Mines Company (JPMC) increased the prices of phosphoric acid, which is a main component inagricultural products.

He encouraged the company to give a special promotional price for Jordanian farmers, which would lower their costs.

Abed also noted that the agricultural sector does not have a national strategy or “a transient agricultural vision with clear features” to save the sector.

“We need real partnerships to manufacture phosphate-based products inside Jordan, which will turn the country into an industrial base. It will also have a positive effect on the agricultural sector, our exports and imports as well,” he said.

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