AMMAN: A multi-component scheme that targets small-scale farmers in several parts of the Kingdom was launched on Tuesday. In a country where the agriculture sector contributes to only 2.9 percent of the gross domestic product, the project aims to support the delivery of more efficient agricultural services and programs, according to organisers.
The Jerash, Ajloun, Madaba, Balqa and Mafraq governorates are the target of the six-year project, which will also include extending loans of between JD2,000 ($2,823) to JD50,000 ($70,582), to farmers through the Development and Employment Fund. Under the scheme, IFAD will extend around $11 million in a soft loan, including $500,000 as a grant, while the government will cover expenses related to taxes, estimated to reach $1.4 million.
In addition, the project entails establishing a special unit at JEDCO to develop the agricultural ventures implemented under the programme in cooperation with the National Centre for Agricultural Research and Extension. Since 1981, IFAD has committed around $71.4 million in loans to Jordan aimed at supporting agricultural development and reducing rural poverty, with the most recent one focusing on introducing improved management practices for water resources, according to the fund.