The agreement kick-starts the CBI’s upcoming project for Fresh Fruits & Vegetables (FFV) from Jordan, designed to bolster the country’s sector in the face of regional conflicts.
“Improving the Jordan FFV sector by linking it with the international market, CBI contributes towards stabilising the country and better equip Jordan to deal with migration and increasing employment rates,” the CBI said.
Access to Jordan’s traditional markets, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Eastern Europe and Russia, are now inaccessible due to the Syrian crisis, said the CBI adding that its FFV industry “had the highest value addition to the local industry”.
Pressures facing the country
Figures published by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), estimated that over 630,000 refugees had entered Jordan by January 2016.
The ILO believed Jordan’s economy and labour market was coming under increased pressure as a result, with average wage levels dropping, rising instances of child labour and an expansion of the informal labour market.
The CBI have already begun a multi-year export development programme with Jordan in an initiative that started in October 2017.
An initial nine-month export knowledge-sharing programme saw the CBI contribute to a Sector Export Marketing Plan (SEMP).
Here, they identified the West Europe, East Europe and Russia, the Gulf States and the Far East as four potential export markets for Jordan’s farmers.
The CBI are now in the process of preparing a multi-year export development programme, working with 25-30 farmers and exporters in how best to grow and market their produce to overseas markets.
The CBI will oversee the project in cooperation with the Jordan Exporters and Producers Association for Fruits and Vegetables (JEPA), and the Jordanian Ministry of Agriculture.
Jordan’s FFV advantages
Due to Jordan’s distinctive and diverse geographical climatic zones, such as the Jordan Valley and the Highlands, the country is able to produce vegetables year round - a key competitive advantage.
These include cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet pepper (various types and colours) grown almost year round as are fresh herbs, both cultivated and wild.
Stone fruits such as peaches and nectarines, pome fruits such as apples and pears as well as grapes are available from May to the end of summer. Strawberries can be grown in December, when they are in high demand in Europe.