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Ministry announces agriculture-focused programme to train hundreds of Jordanians

By Hana Namrouqa - Mar 21,2019 - Last updated at Mar 21,2019

In this undated photo, a worker harvests potatoes in Jordan. Agriculture and Environment Minister Ibrahim Shahahdeh, on Thursday, announced a programme to train 800 Jordanians in various agricultural jobs (JT file photo)

AMMAN — The agricultural sector is in dire need of skilled agricultural technicians and trained labourers, Agriculture and Environment Minister Ibrahim Shahahdeh said on Thursday, announcing the launch of a project to train hundreds of Jordanian youth.

Under the project, the Ministry of Agriculture and the World Food Programme (WFP) will offer training and empowerment opportunities for 800 people from different parts of the country in several areas, such as forestry, rangeland improvement, maintenance of water infrastructure and water harvesting, as well as the introduction of water and conservation techniques, such as hydroponics.

Shahahdeh said that the project seeks to create employment opportunities for job seekers by training youth, supporting rural communities and empowering women to start agricultural income-generation projects.

At the project’s signing ceremony, Shahahdeh highlighted the importance of regulating the agricultural labour market, while at the same time providing youth with skills to eventually replace foreign labourers with a Jordanian workforce in the agricultural sector.

The minister listed several ongoing and upcoming projects in the sector which require trained and skilled labourers, such as two forestry projects at seven locations throughout the country, hydroponics projects, a post-harvest packaging site in Jafer which is expected to create 200-250 jobs and a factory which will produce cubes of wood and jift (leftovers of olive oil pressing) to be used for heating.

“Securing skilled technicians and trained labourers are two vital needs of the agricultural sector,” Shahahdeh said.

WFP Country Director and Representative Sarah Gordon Gibson stressed the importance of increasing investment in agriculture and rural development in order to achieve Sustainable Development Goal TWO for ending hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition.

The agreement, signed on Thursday, will create training opportunities for vulnerable Jordanian households, and improve their food security through the production hydroponic units, seedlings, pruning in the Jordan Valley and developing new forests, Gordon Gibson said.

She added that the WFP would “continue supporting the Ministry of Agriculture to work at community and household levels to improve access to employment and income generating opportunities for food-insecure families”.

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