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95% of agriculture workers are guest labourers — ministry

By JT - Nov 04,2015 - Last updated at Nov 04,2015

AMMAN — The agricultural sector is the Kingdom's most challenged sector in terms of low revenues and a low ratio of Jordanian workers, Labour Minister Nidal Katamine said on Wednesday. 

At a meeting with a delegation from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the minister noted that around 95 per cent of workers in the agricultural sector are guest labourers, attributing the high figure to Jordanians’ reluctance to work in agriculture.

A statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times quoted Katamine as saying that this reluctance has prompted the ministry to work on changing young people’s culture of employment and encouraging them to replace guest workers. 

The statement said Katamine responded to a query by FAO representative to Jordan Nasriddin Hajj Amin on the possibility of integrating skilled Syrian workers residing in Jordan into the local labour market by stressing that the ministry's priority is to offer training and employment to Jordanians. 

The decision on whether to allow Syrians to work in the agriculture sector is a sovereign matter, Katamine told Hajj Amin, according to the statement. 

The two officials agreed to form a joint committee to look into proposals related to the local labour market that FAO plans to provide to the ministry and present to donor countries and organisations. 

The statement added that the FAO delegation expressed readiness to provide financial and technical support for training and employment projects in the agricultural sector.  

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