(MENAFN- Jordan Times) AMMAN - The Government of Italy and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with the presence of the Minister of Agriculturein Jordanandthe Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) signed on Monday a 990,000 euros agreement to enhance food security and resilience of host communities and Syrian refugees in Jordan through agrifood production chains.
Funded through AICS, the overall goal of the project isto improve the efficiency of the value chain of agricultural products and food commodities and enhance food security and livelihoods of 200 households ofhost communities and Syrian refugees in Balqaa, Jerash and Ajloun, where targeted households will benefit from developing their skills to generate self-employment, increase their income and support their families in nutritional activities, according to a FAO Jordan statement.
The project will address the needs of Syrian refugees and beneficiaries from the Jordanian host communities by promoting self-reliance and providing them with the "know-how" and business skills required in agri-food production. The project will include training on transformative technologies in production and market-need assessment.
Minister of AgricultureKhalid Hneifatconfirmed that the ministry worked in accordance with the National Plan for Sustainable Agriculture to organise cooperation and partnership mechanisms with international community and international organisations to harmonise with the pillars of the plan.
He pointed out that cooperation with FAO supports these pillars, especially in the field of rural development and the empowerment of women and youth, and this is within the fields of training, qualification, empowerment, and financing to enhance access to markets and increase income generation for the productive families and increase employment opportunities to reduce poverty rates.
FAO Representative in Jordan Nabil Assaf said“Achieving the component of capacity building represents an added value to this project through establishing farmer field school (FFS) and farmer business school (FBS) activities, which are a comparative advantage of FAO. The FFS approach was launched by FAO in1989 in Asia and in 2004 in Jordan.
It evolved from the concept that optimal learning is derived from experience and in the case of farmers, from observations in the field.” He added,“FAO has succeeded in integrating FFS under its planned projects and initiatives for agricultural development and capacity building, which all pour into the enhancement of food security.
The thematic areas address farmer business school (FBS), post-harvest activities, modern agricultural technology, rural development, and entrepreneurial projects.”
Jordan hosts 1.4 million Syrian refugees, with 80 percent of them living in host communities and the remaining hosted in refugee camps.
While the Syrian crisis is affecting the whole of Jordan, there is a particular concern about the impact in the governorates of Balqaa, Jerash, and Ajloun, which host a high number of refugees with limited development interventions and support.
This has resulted in significant pressure on local service delivery, natural resources, and the local labour market in the three governorates, the statement said.
Luciano Pezzotti, the Ambassador of Italy, during themeeting attended also by the head of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS),RoxaneWeber,added“The Italian government is committed to supporting food security and resilience of the Jordanian host communities and the Syrian Refugees through agri-food production chains.
This initiative, which is funded by the Italian government, will help to promote theentrepreneurial spirit and self-reliance of Syrian refugees and Jordanians alike and enhance the sustainable and long-term development of the agricultural sector in Jordan. We believe that this project will have a positive impact on the lives of those who benefit from it, and we are proud to be working with FAO on this important initiative,” the statement read.
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