‘Agricultural producers, exporters to enter training programme to uplift sector’

AMMAN — Jordanian exporters and producers of fruits and vegetables will hold exhibits and enrol in training programmes and study tours to high-end foreign markets, under a plan to uplift the agricultural sector, according to sector insiders.
The training and exploration of new marketing portals will begin in September, following a letter of intent signed on Tuesday between the Embassy of the Netherlands, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Jordan Exporters and Producers Association for Fruits and Vegetables (JEPA), and the Dutch Centre for Trade Promotion.
Dutch experts have drafted a four-year strategic export marketing plan for the Jordanian agricultural sector, which will be implemented after the training of exporters and producers. 
The exploration of new markets should end by the middle of next year, an official at the Dutch embassy told The Jordan Times on Wednesday.
The plan outlines the export potential for fresh Jordanian products to enter high-end markets, including Europe, Russia, the Gulf and the Far East, according to a statement issued by JEPA.
The plan also gives an overview of the steps that need to be taken over the coming year to unlock marketing potentials, the statement indicated.
JEPA vice president, Zuhair Jweihan, said that the exporters and producers will undergo training programmes and participate in study tours to the Gulf, Russia, the Far East and Europe.
"They will hold exhibits in China, Germany and the Arab Gulf to promote Jordan's fresh products and better understand the markets and trends there. When they return, the producers and exporters will share their experience with the rest of the sector," Jweihan told The Jordan Times.
He noted that studies are also under way to open a centre in Dubai to promote Jordan's fresh produce.
"The exporters and producers will be acquainted with which agricultural products generate high value profits, and save water at the same time, such as herbs…," Jweihan noted.
In the statement, the Embassy of the Netherlands Chargée d'Affaires Lidi Remmelzwaal stressed that the unrest in the region and the closed borders with Syria and Iraq have had a “negative impact” on the Jordanian economy.
‘‘I am proud that, by offering specific expertise, the Netherlands can help Jordan improve the value chain for fresh products and assist Jordanian farmers in reaching new markets. This will ultimately benefit Jordan, its citizens and the Syrian refugees, due to economic growth and job creation," Remmelzwaal said in the statement.
Meanwhile, JEPA President Abdullah Zaben said that, if proper support is provided to the Jordanian agriculture sector, it will be one of the main pillars of the Jordanian economy.
Zaben noted that the export promotion programme will lift Jordan's exports' value and increase the country's marketing portals and its presence globally.  
Jordan Times
July 12, 2017