Farmers in Jordan resent the statistical conclusion which states that agriculture contributes only 3-3.5 per cent to Jordan’s annual gross domestic product. The link between the sector’s importance and its share in the country’s annual output of goods and services is below expectation.
Agriculture’s contribution in the world’s major producers is not far off. Its share of GDP in the US is 1.3 per cent, in China 5 per cent and in the world at large 5.6 per cent. Even in Australia, South Africa and Russia, the percentages range between 2 and 5.5 per cent.
Of course, Jordan’s agriculture is highly subsidised in water, export taxes, import duties on ingredients and inputs as well as imported labour. All these exemptions and subsidies erode the net value created by the sector. What aggravates the situation even further is the fact that only 3-4 per cent of labourers in this sector are Jordanian.
The total agricultural exports in 2016 were worth only JD530 million, while imports exceeded JD2 billion. The agricultural trade deficit is about JD2.3 billion if we include agricultural-related imports like insecticides, seeds and farming equipment.
Moreover, a look at the fruit and vegetable production reveals attention-grabbing results.
[Photo by katesiobhan | Flickr]