Washington DC, October 11, 2022 – The Minister of Planning and International Cooperation of Jordan, Nasser Shraideh, and the World Bank’s Mashreq Regional Director, Jean-Christophe Carret, signed today the Loan Agreement for the Agriculture Resilience, Value Chain Development and Innovation (ARDI or “My Land”) Program for Results on the sidelines of the World Bank Annual Meetings.
The US$125 Million Program, approved by the Bank on September 29, 2022, aims to strengthen the development of Jordan’s agriculture sector by enhancing its climate resilience, increasing competitiveness and inclusion, and ensuring medium- to long-term food security in line with Jordan’s National Sustainable Agriculture Plan and Jordan’s new Vision for Economic Modernization. The program will provide during the period of 2022-27 about 30,000 farming households with financing to adopt climate-smart and water-efficient agriculture practices, provide needs based training, and generate about 12,000 employment opportunities, focusing on Jordanian women and youth. The program will also create economic opportunities for Syrian refugees.
Jordan’s agri-food sector is an important source of income and employment. Around a quarter of Jordan’s poor, and a large number of Syrian refugees, rely on agriculture for their income. Agriculture accounts for approximately 20% of merchandize exports, yet only about half of the export potential for fruits and vegetables has been achieved. The sector holds untapped growth potential if significant medium-to long-term challenges are addressed. Climate change is significantly worsening water scarcity and increasing drought risks, affecting agricultural productivity and rural livelihoods. Furthermore, a set of structural factors, such as the loss of key transport routes through Syria and lack of investment in supply chain infrastructure, have led to declines in competitiveness on local markets and in exports.
“The ARDI program supports key pillars of the National Sustainable Agriculture Plan and Jordan’s Economic Vision 2033,” said H.E. Nasser Shraideh, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation of Jordan. “It combines policy reform with significant investments on the ground and highlights Jordan’s commitment to create the enabling environment to transform the agriculture sector and realize its full growth potential. Additionally, the program further supports achieving a set of cornerstone results, under the National Plan for Sustainable Agriculture umbrella, to establish an adequate enabling policy and investment environment for private sector-led growth in the agriculture sector.”
The ARDI program aims to address critical challenges facing the sector along two pillars, “Climate Resilience and Sustainability” and “Competitiveness and Exports.” Under the first pillar, the program will support the scale-up of sustainable rainwater harvesting practices, both at the farm and community levels. It will also expand the delivery of climate-smart extension services to farmers, advance the coverage of veterinary services, and foster the digital ecosystem and innovation. Under the second pillar, the program will focus on coordinated value chain and export promotion, investments in water productivity through improved access to finance for the sector, and a comprehensive training and job matching program.
“Investing in agricultural production and value chains can help serve a growing local market and contribute to food security,” said Jean-Christophe Carret, Mashreq Regional Director, World Bank. “The ARDI Program will invest in building the skills and knowledge of women, youth, and refugees to increase their employability and support the transition to formal employment.”
The Program will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Agriculture Research Center, and the Agriculture Credit Corporation, under a whole-of-government approach, involving other relevant line ministries and agencies.
The ARDI Program is financed through a US$95.6 million contribution from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, a US$23.9 million grant from the Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF) and a US$5.5 million grant from the Partnership for Improving Prospects for Forcibly Displaced Persons and Host Communities (PROSPECTS), supported by the Kingdom of the Netherlands.