03 December, 2019
· Jordan’s olive oil sector has excellent potential to become stronger, more competitive and profitable
· Investing in quality along the entire olive oil supply chain is key to improving the sector’s overall performance
· FAO and the EBRD will conduct a comprehensive sector review to pinpoint challenges and opportunities for training and investment
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) officially launched a new initiative in Amman today that seeks to improve the productivity, efficiency and quality focus of Jordan’s olive oil industry.
The two-year project is part of a broader regional FAO and EBRD initiative to support the olive and olive oil sectors in Egypt, Lebanon and the West Bank and Gaza.
The EBRD’s Trade and Competitiveness Programme aims to enhance competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the industry, commerce and agribusiness sectors in the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries of Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.
The programme is financed by the European Union’s Neighbourhood Investment Facility and allocates support to investment grants and advisory and technical cooperation to eligible SMEs, as well as diagnostic studies of identified value chains.
Key players in Jordan’s olive oil industry, policy-makers, government officials, national and international business leaders, specialists from development institutions and investors were on hand for the event, organized by FAO and the EBRD with support from the European Union.
The olive oil industry is an important source of employment for rural Jordanians. The country produces an average of 23,000 tonnes of olive oil per year, but most is sold in bulk to domestic consumers.
With demand for olive oil rising across the globe, Jordan’s olive oil sector has excellent potential to grow and tap into new markets, including export markets. And a stronger, more competitive olive oil industry would create jobs along the supply chain, especially for young people.
During the launch, FAO and the EBRD shared their recent experiences in helping Morocco and Tunisia improve the quality, competitiveness and profitability of their respective olives and olive oil industries.
The EBRD also gave an overview of its agribusiness strategy and the different types of tailored financing available for agribusiness companies in the region.
As part of the initiative, FAO and the EBRD will conduct a comprehensive review of Jordan’s olive oil sector to identify constraints and opportunities.
The review will look at global trends, the policy environment, sector efficiency, key private sector stakeholders and the potential for investment and policy engagement.
It will also examine social and environmental issues, particularly the sector’s water efficiency and carbon footprint.
By identifying gaps in terms of know-how and access to modern technology, the analysis will guide the investments and training needed to improve the sector’s overall performance.
Trainings will range from improved pruning techniques and water management to boost productivity to olive oil tastings to raise awareness among producers and consumers of what constitutes a good quality olive oil.
The launch was also an occasion for local and international private sector players to discuss the importance of quality and of developing innovative marketing strategies to promote the olive oil in Jordan and abroad.