Amman- The United Nations Development Programme and the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Environment signed today an agreement to establish the first-ever largest permanent exhibition to promote the products of Jordan Badia and its adjacent rural areas. The exhibition will promote and sell products of Badia community-based organisations year-round.
The UNDP with funding from the Badia Restoration Programme will set up and operate the exhibition to support the productive communities of Badia develop sustainability and market products of 4500 farmers to a wider audiences. The project is expected to attract between 1 and 1.5 million visitors, with an estimated revenue of JD 4.5 million annually.
The UNDP commenced and implemented two projects that enhanced livelihoods of livestock herders in the three Badia regions through value chain development on dairy products and scaling up sheep wool salability and profitability. The projects worked through numerous community-based organizations called “Rangeland Cooperatives” as vehicles to drive the socio-economic development processes at local level in the remote and rural areas. The JD 2.5 million project will build the exhibition on an area of 3700 meters.
Minister of Agriculture Ibraheem Shahahdeh said the purpose of the exhibition is to transform rural families from consumers into producers by providing rural women and their communities with the tools to exhibit their products and market them.
He said the exhibition will also include a training centre to provide the beneficiaries with vital skills in production, sales and marketing.
The minister said this venue will create direct and indirect job opportunities and will be the exhibition centre for all national festivals such as olive, pomegranate, guava and other marketing festivals.
Minister of Environment Saleh Al Kharabsheh said this joint effort comes within a participatory approach that supports the path of rural and desert communities towards marketing for different products within areas with a high purchasing power in the capital. He said this project comes within the framework of the Ministry of Environment's strategy to support, develop, and advance rural families.
The UNDP has supported the development and implementation of several LED interventions that increasingly integrate social and environmental standards within local economic agendas and generate local business opportunities and jobs, including both women and youth.
During the launching ceremony, UNDP Resident Representative Sara Ferrer Olivella said the community-based organisations and the private sector in Badia and rural areas will play a key role in this project through complementing the government’s work in creating jobs and empowering local communities.
“We are aware of the challenges that might face this initiative, and would invest a lot of time and effort to ensure the quality, good presentation and packaging of the goods and services in the exhibition,” Ferrer Olivella said.
“We are confident that the establishment of permanent exhibition in Amman to promote the natural and socio-economic values and exhibit the local products of Jordan Badia and rural areas would not only contribute to raising the economic values of the natural resources, but also connect the Badia with the rest of Jordan. At UNDP, we give high priority to this project, as a contribution to tackle unemployment and reduce poverty, which are at the heart of the 2030 Agenda and the plans of the government of Jordan. This project contributes towards achieving several of the Sustainable Development Goals that also Jordan has committed to achieve,” she added.
The conceptual design of the project proposes to transform the land to greenery public space through hard and soft landscape interventions. The area is functionally divided into indoor exhibition and shaded outdoor spaces.
The indoor area will contain a large open exhibition space, two training center rooms, a productive kitchen, a book shop, a cafe and a restaurant which can be accessed both from the main road and main complex. Outdoor spaces will be used for more dynamic and alternating functions.