IFAD in Jordan
IFAD has committed US$71.4 million in loans in Jordan since 1981 to support agricultural development and reduce rural poverty. The funds have financed seven agricultural development programmes and projects, for a total value of US$189.5 million. IFAD is a leading partner in participatory development in Jordan, where it has worked with poor rural people to design programmes and projects in collaboration with the government and other partners. Activities have focused mainly on rain-fed agriculture and livestock, small farm credit, income diversification and natural resources management.
The most recent IFAD-supported projects have emphasized better use of soil and water resources, introducing improved management practices and focusing particularly on environmental conservation. These projects have had an increasing emphasis on strengthening the capacity of local communities to involve all of their members in decision making and project implementation. Special emphasis has been given to have developing women's capacity to participate in community planning processes.
IFAD grants have supported several initiatives, including innovative participatory rangeland management, a women's village business incubator and rural microfinance services. Jordan is also benefitting from a number of IFAD-supported regional grants.
IFAD reviews have found that the results of the IFAD-supported investments have led to improved agricultural and livestock production. An evaluation of the Resource Management Project found that when all productive activities were combined the rate of economic return was 34.8 per cent. Improvements to physical resources, improved and rejuvenated agricultural production and promotion of off-farm income generation had a positive effect on family incomes. Likely increases in farm incomes were between 30 and 400 per cent. Furthermore, IFAD-financed projects in Jordan have contributed to reclamation and rehabilitation of agricultural land and rangeland, and to the construction of cisterns, canals, earth dams and rural roads.
IFAD's strategy in Jordan
Together with national and international partners in Jordan, IFAD has developed three main strategic objectives, as affirmed in its country strategic opportunities programme (COSOP). The objectives are:
- Improved access to markets, rural finance and technical advisory services
- Improved and sustainable access to land and water resources
- Strengthened capacities of poor rural people and their organizations
IFAD-financed investments support initiatives in areas with high rates of poverty and in active farming communities. To capture lessons in poverty reduction that are relevant and replicable in poverty zones nationwide, programme and project areas include various types of ecosystems, such as rangelands and highlands.
IFAD continues to support the participation of rural people and communities in the design and implementation of programmes and projects. Soil and water conservation and improvement of the natural resource base and climate change adaptation will be central in rural poverty reduction and livelihood diversification. To maximize farm incomes, production of higher-value commodities and development of marketing mechanisms will be essential. IFAD is also assessing opportunities to increase incomes through alternative crops and improved quality assurance. For landless people and disadvantaged rural people, IFAD promotes and supports alternative and complementary sources of off-farm income generation and employment.
The Jordan country programme is now preparing to introduce agricultural value chain activities, diversify institutional channels for the delivery of rural financial services, and explore opportunities for linkages with remittance services.