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Jordan Farmers’ Union Calls for Tougher Action Against Rising Prices

March 1, 2017 | Zawya

AMMAN — The Jordan Farmers Union on Tuesday urged the government to address the rise in fruit and vegetable prices “due to the presence of middlemen in the central market”.

The union said middlemen are causing prices to increase to more than twice their initial value, charging that middlemen — mainly guest workers — add five to six steps to the selling process before the product reaches consumers at a much higher price.

For the union’s president, Mahmoud Oran, the concerned government agencies — including the Ministry of Agriculture, the directorate of the central market for fruit and vegetables at the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply — all carry the responsibility of addressing the longstanding problem of middlemen’s role in the rising prices of produce.

Oran suggested that the government control the presence of guest workers in the central market, indicating that they make up the majority of the middlemen.

Middlemen lengthen the supply chain by purchasing the bulk of the fruit and vegetables, which farmers bring to the GAM-run central market and then reselling them to other merchants, driving prices up for both retailers and consumers, according to the farmers’ union.

Oran also called for the creation of fruit and vegetable markets in all governorates, indicating that this would allow for a more direct selling process between producers and consumers.

“The union has proposed ways to stop the price hike due to the presence of middlemen several times over the past years, but there has been leniency from the government in dealing with the issue,” Oran told The Jordan Times.

Responding to these claims, the Ministry of Agriculture said guest workers were introduced to the central market with the approval of farmers and decision makers in the field, indicating that retailers and the farmers’ union should handle the issue.

© Jordan Times 2017