JORDAN – The Kingdom of Jordan has made strides in local seed production, exporting its products to 65 countries across the world following robust developments in the seed industry as Zawya reports.
The highlight was given by Agriculture Minister Khalid Hneifat, adding that the ministry is making continued efforts to provide a fruitful environment for local seed production companies and overcome related obstacles.
Hneifat made the sentiments while launching a Field Day event where he inaugurated several laboratories of the Amman-Based Universal Seed Company, affirming the ministry’s role to support and develop the sector.
According to the minister, by 2011, only six companies were operating in the seeds industry with a production volume of only 11 tonnes. Currently, there are 36 businesses operational in the industry.
In addition, the minister revealed that entrepreneurs in the sector have developed new, highly productive seed varieties, some of which can tolerate various plant diseases, and others suitable for diverse agricultural environments.
The Kingdom, he noted, also hosts nine experimental research and development offices for international companies.
Hneifat added that the ministry plays a “major” role in organizing seed production processes, registration, and quality control and regulates related trade and marketing operations.
In addition, the ministry also helps in trading activities and provides an umbrella of laws, regulations, and instructions to protect “innovative” varieties and grant intellectual property.
Recently, the ministry, in cooperation with private sector institutions, renovated the laboratory in the Seed Technology Unit at the National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC), where workers were trained on seed testing in preparation for Jordan’s accreditation as a member of the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA).
Agriculture sector concerned over Jordan’s soaring summer temperatures
Meanwhile, despite the boom in seed production, farmers and representatives of the agricultural sector are voicing their concerns about the scorching weather’s potential impacts on local agricultural activity amid the current heatwave sweeping the Kingdom.
Zawya reports that temperatures in Amman have been ranging between a high of 37°C and a low of 25°C. In Aqaba, temperatures reached 43°C during the day, dropping to a low of 30°C at night.
Jordan Farmers Union (JFU) President Mahmoud Al Oran has expressed concern over the extreme weather, stating that warmer temperatures in general significantly affect the agricultural sector in many ways, noting that the ramifications of rising global temperatures have had increasingly frequent direct impacts on Jordan’s agriculture sector.
Sadly, farmers fear that the rise in temperatures would lead to exacerbated and more frequent droughts affecting the yield outlook for summer crop production, which will have serious financial repercussions for farmers and farm owners.
In light of these challenges, Oran called for a comprehensive guide to be created, accessible to all in the sector, to ensure that the effects of heat stress are as limited as possible during the summer.