Representative of the food sector at the Jordan Chamber of Commerce (JCC), Raed Hamadeh, called on setting up a higher council for food security in the Kingdom in partnership between the public and private sectors, to draw up a “road map” that contributes to maintaining the strategic stock of basic commodities and foodstuffs.
In a press statement on Saturday, Hamadeh stressed the importance of establishing the council amid the “remarkable and rapid” changes in goods and services prices globally, especially with regard to foodstuffs and sea freight cost.
Hamadeh pointed to the importance of launching the council to exchange ideas and find appropriate mechanisms and solutions that can be implemented to mitigate global rises in goods and services within the local market.
The council’s tasks also include setting plans and strategies that contribute to solving the sector’s problems and stimulating it to expand and grow during the coming period to realize the vision and directives of His Majesty King Abdullah II, aimed to achieve food security and self-reliance, Hamadeh pointed out.
Hamadeh stressed the need to exempt food trade from fees and taxes, which include basic needs of citizens, in addition to providing support for the agricultural sector, which is a mainstay in achieving the Kingdom’s food security.
The Covid-19 pandemic revealed the importance of facilitating the work of the food sector and addressing any obstacles facing it in a way that enables it to provide a safe stock of foodstuffs, calling on expanding the list of goods imported from Syria to reduce shipping costs and the time required for goods deliveries to reach the local market, according to Hamadeh.
Merchants, he said, played an “important” and “positive” role in the exceptional circumstances that accompanied the Covid-19 pandemic, despite its difficulty, as the local market did not witness a disruption or shortage of any commodity at reasonable prices.
The Kingdom imports food estimated at about $4 billion annually, part of which is raw materials for industry and the rest is ready for consumption, per official gov’t data.
The food sector constitutes 30 percent of the volume of the trade sector, with more than 50,000 large and small establishments across the Kingdom, employing approximately 250,000 workers, the data revealed.
Source: Jordan News Agency