Amman, March 27th – The United Nations Development Programme and the Ministry of Environment signed an agreement on Wednesday to implement the “Improving Livelihoods of Sheep Owners in the Jordan Badia” project.
UNDP Resident Representative Sara Ferrer Olivella and Minister of Environment and Minister of Agriculture Ibrahim Subhi Al-Shehadeh signed the three-year agreement for around 2.6 million dollars that will fund the project.
The sheep wool sector in Jordan faces many constraints, including - without being limited to- the low quality of initial production of the sheared sheep wool, the use of inefficient and harmful traditional shearing equipment, and the weak domestic trade and export.
Minister Al-Shehadeh stated that “the agreement aims to rehabilitate the environmental ecosystems in the Jordan Badia, rehabilitate pastures, water resources and wildlife in the Jordan Badia, increase its productivity and protect its wildlife by engaging local communities to reach sustainable development.”
He added that the plan has reflected the need to help the local community in establishing projects and productive activities that will improve its income, the most important of which is sheep mowing and improving its quality and marketing to benefit the sheep farmers in the Badia. He stressed that the most important strategies of the project are to improve the quality of wool, cut it according to market standards, and to provide technical training and awareness for livestock owners on the health practices, theory and nutrition that improve the quality of wool.
In the words of Fatima, a sheep owner in Badia, "not only has the project helped us improve the quality and taste of our dairy products, it has also provided us with a secure source of income and boosted our confidence."
Ferrer Olivella expressed that “this agreement reflects the good and strong cooperation between the Ministry of Environment and UNDP that dates to approximately three decades. It looks at all dimensions including socio-economic and environmental aspects which are needed for communities to flourish.” She also stressed on the importance to partner with the private sector as the major driver for marketing and quality upgrade.