APN sent an open letter to the Minister of Agriculture Saleh Al-Kharabsheh (May 27, 2020). The letter draws attention to local markets and how important it is for them to remain sufficient. There is an opportunity today, the letter points out, for decision-makers to reduce import and dependence on the international market. According to the letter, dependence on the international market makes our region even more fragile on top of other crises we are facing.
APN warned against relying on international trade despite its role in boosting income and foreign currency because this would make the agricultural sector and farmers vulnerable to trade outlets no longer being available to them and price fluctuations.
An open letter to the Minister of Agriculture, His Excellency Dr Saleh Al-Kharabsheh, commenting on a statement he has made:
First, we thank you for your attention to the agricultural sector in Jordan. The agricultural sector directly combats hunger, poverty and unemployment, and is strategically linked to the national security of Jordan.
The Corona crisis will have inevitable effects on all sectors, especially the agricultural sector.
This ordeal may provide a valuable opportunity to reformulate some of our policies towards empowering this sector to fight poverty and hunger, revitalize industries associated with it, and boost the GDP.
We have proudly followed royal directions to help farmers grow value-added crops and develop value chains, to include agro-industries. We emphasize again that it is vital to fight unemployment and improve income and food security.
We are keen on protecting this sector. In addition to seizing the opportunities to export, making sure that the local market is sufficient, we must also look at ways to reduce import and dependence on the international market. Dependence on the international market makes our region even more fragile on top of other crises we are facing.
Despite its role in boosting income and foreign currency, depending on international trade makes the agricultural sector and farmers vulnerable to trade outlets no longer being available to them and price fluctuations. This is especially dangerous when there is monoculture, which is when farmers cultivate a single crop on a large area of land.
Most often, only large farms or companies can export. For this reason, we need to enable small farmers to access local markets. We recommend developing agricultural societies and cooperatives to help small farmers become more resilient and competitive.