Minister of Agriculture Khaled Hanaifat inaugurated Tuesday the dry run phase of a $3-million United States-funded veterinary border control center in Mafraq.
During the ceremony, attended by Regional Representative of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service Elizabeth Mello, Hanaifat said that the Surra center, which is part of a national plan for sustainable agriculture, is a “protective shield and an impenetrable fence” in the face of epidemics, infectious and common diseases that may cross the borders affecting both humans and animals.
He stated that the center will conduct tests on exported and imported animal consignments or even those passing through the Kingdom to ensure their health safety and compliance with health requirements and quality standards to protect against diseases and their mutation.
This project was born out of a pressing need to upgrade the old control center and meet the World Organization for Animal Health’s health requirements, according to Hanaifat, who added that it benefits regional breeders, supports farmers economically, encourages newcomers to join this line of work, creates new sheep breeding job opportunities, and lays the groundwork for future growth.
Moreover, he pointed out that the ministry is looking to get funding for the maintenance of the old control center, at an estimated cost of JD600,000, to support to the new center and increase the number of exported animals during the peak season, especially sheep, to boost the livestock sector in the region.
For her part, Mello said that the grant for the center is part of the US Department of Agriculture’s Food for Development projects, estimated at $55 million to prop up the local agriculture and water sectors.
Detailing the control center project, the US official pointed out that the Surra center is part of 8 agricultural projects, noting that it is a “priority project” aimed at supporting small farmers, including livestock breeders, who have suffered from the negative effects of the waves of Syrian refugees and climate change.
Source: Jordan News Agency