Jordan: Agriculture ministry to address export problem

Agriculture minister Reda Khawaldeh said Sunday that his ministry would seriously try to find solutions to the problem of exports to regional countries that had daunted the sector and sharply reduced produce prices in the local market.

He said during a visit to the main flower market that the ministry will work hand-in-hand with the private sector to address the hurdles facing agricultural exports, adding that he would start field tours of farms to check first-hand on the problem and try to find urgent solutions.

"The flower industry is a promising agricultural sector", he said, stressing that creative solutions should be found to the problems facing it, including removing barriers facing exports and creating a better and larger site for refrigeration and storage.

Khawaldeh spoke of the need to organise the flower industry, pledging to work with the Ministry of Labour and flower market stakeholders, namely the Jordanian Association for Cut Flowers and Ornamental Plants, to train and rehabilitate Jordanian labour and offer facilities to skilled foreign manpower to prop up floriculture in the Kingdom.

The minister also said the technology used in floriculture is compatible with advanced Western techniques, referring to countries whose economies largely depend on flower exports.

The minister was briefed on the key hurdles facing the flower market, notably qualified manpower, high water prices, refrigeration and export problems, and was told that Jordanian farmers produce about 70 million flowers per year that are marketed locally or in Gulf Arab states.

Source: Jordan News Agency

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