`Tough Times for Producers in Jordan's Jerash Province - Olive Oil Times

Tough Times for Producers in Jordan's Jerash Province

By Paolo DeAndreis
Jun. 18, 2020 17:28 UTC

These days most farm­ers in the Jerash province in Jordan are not able to prune and care for their olive trees.

They warned the Ministry of Agriculture that wildly fluc­tu­at­ing weather con­di­tions have hit crops in the flow­er­ing period and made it almost impos­si­ble to carry on with their sea­sonal tasks, Saraya News Agency reported.

Local olive grow­ers said most of their oil for the last sea­son still sits in stor­age facil­i­ties. The weak demand for olive oil by national and inter­na­tional mar­kets in the last few months has severely impacted farm­ers’ rev­enues and their oper­a­tions.

According to local grow­ers, the Covid-19 con­tain­ment mea­sures com­pletely halted the mar­ket­ing of olive oil while Jordanian cit­i­zens seek the most basic foods. With the new sea­son approach­ing, they warned that prices will likely lower again and broader losses are to be expected.

Imad Al-Ayasrah, direc­tor of the Jerash Agricultural Authority, con­firmed that at least 2,300 thou­sand tons of olive oil out of 2,400 tons pro­duced in the 2019/20 har­vest sea­son went unsold in the province. He invited grow­ers to focus on exports in light of the low national demand of olive oil at this chal­leng­ing time.

The Authority believes that a focus on exports could at least help cover pro­duc­tion costs and asked pro­duc­ers to adopt new tech­nolo­gies and meth­ods for all phases of the pro­duc­tion to bet­ter com­pete in inter­na­tional mar­kets.

According to local sources, Al-Ayasrah invited pro­duc­ers to sell olive oil in smaller pack­ages and to invest in alter­na­tive uses, such as in cos­met­ics, for exam­ple.

While they wait for pos­si­ble inter­ven­tion from the cen­tral gov­ern­ment, some local grow­ers are still deal­ing with the effects of the wide­spread for­est fires in Jerash, hit­ting some olive groves as well as some mon­u­men­tal, cen­turies-old olive trees.


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