jordanJordan is a Middle Eastern kingdom located on the East Bank of the River Jordan. It’s only port located, in the south-west, is shared with Egypt, Israel and Saudi Arabia. The country’s capital is Amman. More than half of Jordan’s land is a part of the Arabian Desert. Its eastern part has oasis and seasonal water streams for irrigation while the western part has both arable land and Mediterranean forests. Jordan is considered as an upper middle income country with well developed infrastructure and relatively high standard of living along with an emerging free economy. There are 12 provinces or governorates in Jordan, which are sub-divided into 54 districts. Each governorate has its own capital. In 2011, Jordan had a population of 6,181,000, not counting about 200,000 immigrants and/or refugees. The annual population growth rate, recorded in 2004, was 2.5 percent.

Context

Context

The climate of Jordan is Mediterranean, with dry hot summers and cold and wet winters with snowfall at higher altitude. Before and after the summer, the country faces a brief spell of dusty, hot desert winds of high speed rising from the south, which are potentially destructive for crops.  Hardly 10 percent of the land is suitable for agriculture. Food imports are high, with wheat and barley largely grown in the rain-fed uplands. Irrigated agriculture exists in the Jordan Valley because of East Ghor Canal where citrus fruits, melons and vegetables, like cucumbers, tomatoes and eggplants, cultivated with higher production than the marketing demand. Planting of olive and fruit trees has caused a reduction in the country’s pastures for livestock, which comprise sheep, goats, camels, cattle, mules, donkeys and poultry. Water remains a limiting factor for agricultural operations.

Several multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors have provided financial and technical assistance to Jordan in various sectors. The assistance for the agriculture sector, however, has mainly come from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) including agricultural development, financial services, rural infrastructure, livestock and fisheries, capacity building and institutional development, storage, food-processing, marketing, research, training and small and medium enterprise development; USAID working on water resource management, France (AFD including the fertilizer industry), Germany (GIZ including water and environment, agriculture and rural development, institution and capacity building), Canada (CIDA including environment, vocational education and water improvement), and the Islamic Development Bank including agriculture sector support. The World Bank has proposed a $ 3.3 million Global Environment Facility Trust Fund Grant in June 2012 for the Badia Ecosystem and Livelihood Project.

Key Statistics and Indicators

Indicator

Value

Year  

Agricultural land (sq km)

Agricultural land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares)

Arable land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares per person)

10,250

11.54

200,000

2.25

0.03

2009

2009

2009

2009

2009

Fertilizer consumption (kg per hectare of arable land)

359.19

2009

Agriculture, value added (% of GDP)

Food production index (2004-2006 = 100)

Food exports (% of merchandise exports)

Food imports (% of merchandise imports)

3.32

122.17

16.58

16.22

2011

2010

2010

2010

GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US$)

4,380

2011

Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above)

Literacy rate, youth female (% of females ages 15-24)

Literacy rate, youth male (% of males ages 15-24)

Ratio of young literate females to males (% ages 15-24)

Ratio of female to male secondary enrollment (%)

92.19

98.94

98.95

99.99

105.89

2007

2007

2007

2007

2010

Mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people)

Internet users (per 100 people)

118.20

35.74

2011

2011

Population, total

Population density (people per sq. km of land area)

Rural population

Rural population (% of total population)

Agricultural population (% of total population)*

Total economically active population

Total economically active population in agriculture*

Total economically active population in agriculture (in %

    of total economically active population)

Female economically active population in agriculture (% of

     total economically active population in agriculture)*

6,181,000

68.11

1,068,583

17.28

6.30

1,553,052

113,000

7.27

61.94

2011

2010

2011

2011

2010

2010

2010

2010

2010

Sources:The World Bank; *Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO 

History

History of extension and the enabling/disabling environment

The Ministry of Agriculture in Jordan was established in 1939 but it did not start providing extension services until 1954. In 1979, agricultural research and extension were merged into one department called the Department of Scientific Research and Agricultural Extension. NCARE establishment goes back to the late 1950’s, when the Department of Research and Extension  had been created.  In 1985, research activities  were separated from the Department and given to a new research center "The National Center for Agricultural Research and Technology Transfer (NCARTT)". In 1993, NCARTT became a semi-autonomous institution. In 2007, NCARTT was reformed to resume responsibility for extension and its name was changed to National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension (NCARE).

 Public extension services in Jordan have been criticized for low coverage of farmers, including the small number of extension workers, their unsatisfactory technical know-how, as well as their lack of proper program planning and evaluation. Some of the factors responsible for unsatisfactory services are the small number of extension workers, their insufficient operational funding, their lack of transportation facilities and rare in-service training.  A number of private companies are carrying out extension activities during the promotion of their agricultural businesses.

Table 1: Human Resources in Public Extension in Jordan as of 2012

Staff Categories

Secondary School Diploma

2-3 years Agric. Diploma

B.Sc. Degree

M.Sc. Degree

PhD

Gender

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

Senior Management Staff

       

2

2

4

4

 

2

Field-level Extension Staff

       

11

47

1

6

   

Information, Communication & Tech. Support Staff

   

1

1

1

3

       

In-service Training Staff

 

2

 

1

4

1

       

Total Extension Staff = 91

 

2

1

2

18

53

5

10

 

2

Extension Providers

Major institutions providing extension/advisory services

Public Institutions

Ministry of Agriculture

The Director-General of the ministry has four Director-General Assistants administering different departments, and one of them is the Director-General Assistant for Extension who is in-charge of the Department of Extension Programs. Other three departments under the same administration cover information & administration of agriculture, media & awareness, and training. The Department of Extension Programs works as a part of the National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension.

National Center for Agric. Research and Extension (NCARE) is located in Amman and is the national institution presently responsible for both agricultural research and extension in Jordan. Although a semi-autonomous body, it still depends on the government for its core funding. NCARE operates eight regional centers, 13 research stations located in various agro-ecological zones, and 13 extension units spread throughout the country.

NCARE is mandated to conduct and coordinate applied agricultural research and extension to assist the transfer and adoption of appropriate and improved technologies, facilitate continuous professional development, and recognize the significant professional contributions of its members.

Responsibilities

  • Preparing agricultural research and extension plans for sustainable development;
  • Adapting the latest agricultural techniques for local conditions;
  • Conducting economic studies aimed at improving farmers’ organizations;
  • Building capacity of researchers and extension agents in collaboration with local, national and international partners and providing training and cross-learning opportunities in order to better addressing agricultural development problems.

Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST)  is the one which offers degree programs in various agricultural disciplines such as animal production, natural resources and environment, nutrition and food technology, and plant production. The Faculty of Agriculture of JUST runs Community Service, which has extension type activities like field days, workshops, exhibitions, and short training courses. Faculty members provide consulting services to individual farmers and organizations. They also serve on committees that deal with various aspects of agriculture, food industry and extension in Jordan and the Middle East.

University of Jordan is a state-supported institution of higher learning, serves the cause of teaching, research and community service. The university has Institute of Agricultural Research, Training, Extension and Education, headed by a Dean.

Agricultural Credit Corporation  is the main official institution for extending loans to the farmers, yet it does provide some technical guidance to the farmers in the process. The Corporation outreaches farmers in rural areas and runs projects aimed at alleviation of unemployment and poverty.

Non-public institutions

Private sector

Jordan has a large number of small, medium and big companies which are involved in agricultural business. Many of them sell farm inputs and machinery while others are engaged in landscaping, and the export and import of agricultural products. Some of the companies have substantial number of extension staff which advises farmers in line with the companies’ agricultural interests. A few examples of private companies are given below.

Agricultural Materials Merchant Association (AMMA) was established in 1982 as the umbrella organization for hundreds of private dealers of agricultural inputs. The company organizes exhibitions, workshops and seminars, and prepares printed materials on agricultural topics for distribution among the target farmers. It welcomes university students for training and also serves on various technical committees.

Nabat Agriculture and Trading Company , Ltd.  was established in 1987 by a group of agricultural specialists. Nabat is involved in import, wholesale and retailing of crop protection chemicals, fertilizers, seeds, mother plants, horticultural supplies and equipment and flower shop accessories. The company initiates and manages horticultural and agricultural projects covering vegetables, fruit trees and flower production.

Yasamin Landscaping and Garden Center was established in 1990 as a subsidiary of Fahed Abujaber Farms, a well known agricultural family operation. The center provides comprehensive agriculture landscaping services, and is also involved in production business. The company is an active member of the Euro-Jordanian Action for the Development of Enterprise.

Sanabel Landscape Design and Services is a well-established company. Its main business is landscape designing and selling relevant products, and it claims to use a holistic landscape approach with full regard for the regional, cultural and aesthetic context.

Dajani Agribusiness was established in 1991 and specializes in landscaping and fruits, as well as offering a wide range of services and products for fruit tree growing industry. The company is involved in feasibility studies, fruit trees supply, project management, and pre-harvest and post-harvest consultations. It claims its brand “Fresh Line” to be of quality fruits produced under strict quality control measurements and global GAO certification. 

Non-governmental organizations

There are no NGOs in Jordan which exclusively provide agricultural extension services to the farmers. NGOs do get involved in rural community development and women empowerment type of activities depending on their funding sources and the projects they succeed in forging collaboration.  A detailed list of NGOs and charity organizations in Jordan may be found at this website. A few examples are as follows:

General Federation of Jordanian Women (GFJW)  was established in 1980. Its goals are to enhance the women role and integrate them in the comprehensive development process. It has about 200 members and 11 branch offices in the country.

Ruaf Foundation  is an international network of seven regional resource centers and one global resource center on urban agriculture and food security. The foundation provides training, technical support and policy advice to local and national governments, producer organizations, NGOs and other local stakeholders. One of its well known activities was the From Seed to Table Project.

The Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development is the largest and oldest non-profit NGO dedicated to promoting rights-based sustainable human development in Jordan and in the region. The NGO helps people work together to access resources on which to build sustainable livelihoods and to claim the rights and entitlements that contribute to healthy and fulfilled lives.

Royal Scientific Society of Jordan (RSS) was established in 1970 by a Royal Decree. It is a not-for-profit, applied research institution designed to support the continuous socio-economic development of Jordan. It has a staff of over 600, seven technical centers and departments, housing 38 specialized laboratories. RSS provides technical consultations, services and training to both public and private sectors. It is active in ICT domain services. 

Farmers-based associations, cooperatives and societies

There are several farmers-based organizations and cooperatives that provide various types of support to their members especially in marketing. A few examples are as follows:

  • Iraq el Amir Women’s Association
  • Jordan Olive Products Exporters Association
  • Jordan Valley Farmers Association
  • Jordan Exporters and Producers Association for Fruit and Vegetables

List of Extension Providers

icon target The following list shows an excerpt from the GFRAS Directory of Extension Providers for Jordan. Some of these entries may be specially marked for having more detailed information in the database of the Worldwide Extension Study WWES.

Training

Training options for extension professionals

Pre-service education in agriculture can be pursued at the Jordan University’s Department of Science of Technology. In-service training of extension staff is normally arranged by the Department of Training in the Ministry of Agriculture. Facilities and expertise for in-service training exist at the National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension, Jordan University of Science and Technology, University of Jordan, Hashemite University, Agricultural Credit Corporation, Royal Scientific Society of Jordan, commercial agricultural companies and certain NGOs.

ICT

Info-mediaries and information and communication technology (ict) for agriculture and extension

The Jordanian government has supported many projects under the National Information and Communications Strategy (2007-2011) to popularize the adoption of ICT, such as “computer for every citizen”, and “laptop for every student”. The National Agricultural Development Strategy (2002-2010) referred specifically to the development of ICT capabilities at national and sub-national levels. Accordingly, a National Agricultural Information System (NAIS) has been established, which serves as the national platform for sharing and exchanging information and knowledge of agricultural research and development between stakeholders.

Jordan has a number of public and private institutions that use and promote ICT. Some of them are as follows.

  • The government has the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
  • The University of Jordan has both King Abdullah II School for Information Technology, and Jordan Media Institute; the latter offers a one-year practical Master’s degree program.
  • The Ministry of Agriculture has Information and Communication Division (ICD), and a Media and Awareness Department under its Director-General Assistant for Extension.
  • The National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension (NCARE) hosts the National Library for Agricultural Information, which provides national soil maps, irrigation management information system, and gene bank database services through the following two channels: (a) Jordan Documentation Center which is a part of AGRIS (International System for Agricultural Sciences and Technology) under which agricultural information, supplied by different national institutions, is collected and documented; (b) Agricultural databases such as Agricola, Cab-abstract, Plant Genet, and AGRIS.
  • The Royal Scientific Society is a well-established NGO that has an Information Technology Center.

According to the World Bank, in 2011, the number of mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people) in Jordan was 118.20. During the same year, the number of Internet users (per 100 people) in the country was 35.74.

Resources

Resources and references

Al-Rimawi, A.S. and E.K. Al-Karablieh (2001). The role of the commercial sector in agricultural extension in Jordan. Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education Vol. 8 (3) Fall 2001; Pp. 13-20. Available at: www.aiaee.org >Vol.8(3) 

Al-Rimawi, A.S. and E.K. Al-Karablieh (2002). Agricultural private firms’ willingness to cooperate with public research and extension in Jordan. Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education (Fall 2002). Available at: www.aiaee.org>Vol.9(3) 

AL-Sharafat, A, M. Altarawneh and E. Altahat (2012). Effectiveness of agricultural extension activities. American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences 7 (2): 194-200, 2012. Available at: www.thescipub.com/pdf/10.3844/ajabssp.2012.194.200

Athamneh, H., R. Portegies and M. Latif (no date; probably 2011). Jordan Country Report; Status of National Agricultural Information System in Jordan. Available at: www.nerakin.net/Rakin_upload/CountryReports/26.pdf

FAO (May 2002). Report of the FAO Regional Workshop on Institutional Needs Assessment for Agricultural Research, Technology Development and Extension in the Near East Region; held 29-31 May 2002 at Amman; 

ILO (2010). Cooperatives Arab States Workshop Report.

Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Government of Jordan (December, 2010). Jordan Country Report. Prepared for the 2010-2011 United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) Inter-Sessional Panel Meeting held 15-17 December 2010 at Geneva; available at: www.archive.unctd.org/Templates/Download.asp?docid=14261...1...

Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Government of Jordan (no date; probably 2005). National ICT Strategy of Jordan 2007-2011

Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, Government of Jordan (no date; probably 2008). Assistance Programs and Donors

Oxford Business Group (2008). “Planning ahead: Building a knowledge-based economy; The Report: Jordan 2008/Telecoms and IT”; The Inside Edge. Available at: http://www.oxfordbusinessgroup.com/news/planning-ahead-building-knowledge-based-ec...

USAID (July 9-31, 2005). A Comprehensive Review of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan National Center for Agricultural Research and Technology Transfer (NCARTT) and the Ministry of Agriculture-Extension (MoA-Extension). Available at: www.faculty.arec.umd.edu/.../NCARTT%20Research%20&...

USAID (February 2005). Assessment of Agricultural Extension Services in Jordan Valley and Amman-Zarqa Basin Highlands in Jordan. Available at: www.ncare.gov.jo/.../A-9....

USAID (December 2006). Final Report: Education and Information Program to Improve Irrigation (Jordan). 

Acknowledgements

  • Authored by M. Kalim Qamar (November 2012)
  • Edited by Burton E. Swanson
  • Updates on extension staff numbers and functions of NCARE provided by Dr. Samia Akroush, Director of Socioeconomic Studies Directorate, National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension (NCARE), Baq’a, Jordan

 

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