Jordan Allocates $390 Million for Wheat and Barley
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The Government of Jordan (GoJ) has gradually implemented a practical food security strategy based on purchasing Wheat and Barley and building an inventory inside the country. Post expects in MY 2023/2024 an increase in the GoJ inventory as a state policy; beginning stocks of Barley are likely to increase to 665,000 MT and end at 740,000 MT. The GoJ policies aim to increase the inventory for food security reasons heightened by market volatility, especially price and freight cost fluctuations due to the Black Sea war impacts on international markets. Yet, consumption could decrease due to the FMD outbreak. Barley’s inventory volume is within the GoJ’s policy of strategic stocks that require meeting 12 months of consumption needs inside Jordan and contracted for.
The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) has announced it will cut down an extra one million head of sheep and goats registered to receive the subsidized Barley. MoA considered the 4.9 million head number an abuse of the subsidy system, and farmers must prove their total herd headcount, according to records, and the animal tag system is less than 3.9. In return, MoA is committing itself to make it up to farmers by increasing the subsidized ration per head from 20 kg to 25 kg during the winter seasons, breeding season, and no grazing (November through the end of February). Only sheep and goat owners receive subsidized Barley at a discounted price. This program excludes cattle and poultry farmers from receiving subsidized Barley.
MIT is the predominant Barley importer in Jordan. MIT solicits bids through traders that meet the stipulated standards. Once it purchases the Barley, MIT distributes and sells it at a subsidized price to herders based on the number of tagged animals recorded in the database.
Jordan’s Government Support for Wheat and Bread
Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply and Minister of Labor Youssef Al-Shamali said, “Bread prices will not be raised as part of the Government’s pledge to maintain local stability,” pointing to “the significant increase in the import of Wheat from different origins.” He added in a statement, “The Government, for the first time, allocates an amount of 277 million dinars (US390 million) in its budget for the current year 2023, to support Wheat and Barley, as a result of their high prices in global markets.”
According to tenders offered by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Jordan imports more than 95% of its Wheat needs from international markets to meet the needs of local consumption, which ranges between 850 thousand and one million tons annually. Jordan’s Wheat consumption has increased due to hosting more than 1.3 million Syrian refugees since the beginning of the Syrian crisis.
According to a decision issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Government raised the price of subsidized flour to about 164 dinars per ton as of the beginning of May, an increase of about 5 dinars.
The Ministry also asked the mills to submit statements on an ongoing basis, including the quantities and types of flour material that were produced, the quantities of the bran material produced, and the quantities of the standardized flour material that was delivered to bakeries and others by carriers, or distributed through the mill.
Jordan lifted subsidies on bread in 2017 to limit the illegal uses of flour, its trade, and its use as fodder and sometimes smuggling it to neighboring countries due to the significant difference in prices. According to the Government official, the Government has returned to providing subsidies for bread due to the high global Wheat prices and to not burden citizens with more financial burdens in light of the high prices and declining living standards.
Other sources: ALARABY
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