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Agriculture Ministry to revisit decision to reduce farmhands after protest

Agriculture Ministry to revisit decision to reduce farmhands after protest

AMMAN: The Ministry of Agriculture on Monday formed a committee to reconsider a recent decision to reduce the number of non-Jordanian farm workers following objections by Mafraq farmers.

The new regulations stipulate that one foreign worker can be employed per 50 dunums of agricultural land instead of 20 dunums, according to officials and farmers’ representatives. The regulations sparked the ire of Mafraq farmers, who protested in front of the Agriculture Ministry premises on Monday, demanding that the rules be reconsidered.

Agriculture Minister Akef Zu’bi met with the farmers and issued instructions for the formation of a committee to revisit the regulations, ministry officials and farmers’ representatives said. Agriculture Ministry Spokesperson Nimer Haddadin said the new regulations aim at organising the workforce in the sector.

“The farmers feel that the new regulations are unjust, but in fact they were issued to regulate foreign workers’ presence in the agricultural sector. Authorities have recorded several cases of selling foreign workers… it’s starting to become a foreign workers’ black market,” Haddadin told The Jordan Times.