The contribution of the agricultural sector to GDP reaches 30% — Jordan

The contribution of the Jordanian agricultural sector to the national GDP has reached 30%, according to the president of the Jordanian Farmers’ Union, Mahmoud Oran.

Oran highlighted the environmental, economic and social importance of the agricultural sector, noting that it is a “generator” for other economic sectors and employs thousands of people in Jordan.

“Whether the sector’s contribution to GDP increases or decreases depends primarily on government plans and strategies. The agricultural environment in Jordan is capable and ready to increase production and therefore increase its contribution to GDP,” Oran told The Jordan Times.

According to Oran, there are 3 million dunums of irrigated land in the Kingdom with the possibility of growing wheat.

“If only a third of this land were farmed, Jordan could produce at least 500,000 tonnes of wheat, which could help achieve self-sufficiency,” he said.

Oran added that the most significant challenges facing the agricultural sector are climate change and legislation, which dictates how the agricultural sector operates and has the potential to limit the growth of the sector.

He recommended improving scientific research to deal with climate change by producing crops that can adapt to changing weather conditions, such as wheat or barley.

Oran also stressed the importance of water harvesting, especially now that meteorologists can predict the rainy season.

He encouraged the government to offer incentives to farmers, such as exemptions from certain fees or the granting of interest-free loans.

According to Oran, Jordanian farmers adopted drip irrigation 40 years ago to ration water use, making Jordan “the first country in the region to use drip irrigation”.

He noted that Jordan is moving towards hydroponics and aquaponics, which have the added value of reducing fertilizer consumption.

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Batool Ghaith

Lana T. Arthur