Jordan - Agriculture

In 2000, Jordanian farms accounted for just 500,000 of the country's 8.9 million hectares of land. The agricultural sector employed 7.4 percent of the Jordanian labor force in 1998 and contributed 3 percent to the GDP. Jordan experienced 2 serious consecutive droughts in 1998-99 and 1999-2000, which highlighted the agricultural sector's troublesome dependence on rainfall. Three-

quarters of the country's cultivable land is rain-fed territory to the north producing wheat, barley, lentils, and chickpeas. The remaining quarter of agricultural land in the Jordan Valley and the highlands is irrigated and produces eggplants, bananas, potatoes, cucumbers, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and onions. In 1999 tomatoes were the main crop with production reaching 293,000 tons, followed by 142,000 tons of melons. Agricultural products are mostly exported to the Gulf countries such as Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon. Some farmers, however, have tried to sell their produce to European markets. They have been largely unsuccessful because of their poor packaging, inadequate quality control, and the high transportation costs involved.

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