JORDAN – The government of Jordan has issued a bid to purchase 240,000 tonnes of barley and wheat to enhance its national grain reserves, Zawya has reported.

Zawya citing the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply revealed that the government plans to purchase 120,000 tonnes of barley and 120,000 tonnes of wheat to be delivered in August and September respectively.

Jordan is among the most water-deficient countries in Southern Asia, severely limiting its ability to grow crops. As a result, Jordan’s domestic production of cereals is negligible, and most of its needs are met through imports.

The country imports about 95 percent of its wheat and barley from international markets as domestic production does not exceed 5 percent of the country’s needs.

Further, the ministry revealed that the monthly local consumption for wheat and barley is estimated at 80,000 tonnes and 60,000 tonnes respectively, which is lower than the country’s overall annual production for the commodities.

Due to its limited production, the government of Jordan has gradually been implementing a practical food security strategy based on purchasing wheat and barley and building up an inventory inside the country.

Currently, the officials revealed that the wheat reserve is enough for more than 12 months adding that the country was “very keen to keep our reserves of wheat and barley for a very long period.”

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) had earlier forecasted that the import-reliant country will import 1.3 million tonnes of wheat in the marketing year 2022-23 in its grain reserves strategy. 

In addition, the USDA estimated that Jordan’s wheat production in 2022-23 is expected to reach 30,000 tonnes, which is less than a two-week supply of the country’s annual consumption needs, forecast at 960,000 tonnes.

For barley, USDA estimates barley consumption to reach 720,000 tonnes in 2022-23, with 1.1 million tonnes of imports as part of the nation’s efforts to build up reserves.

Last week, Jordan purchased 60,000 tonnes of wheat for the first half of August and 50,000 tonnes of barley for June of this year as part of the grain reserve strategy, the official source added.

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