With Jordan officially receiving the go-ahead to invest in Russia wheat production , the authorities are encouraging local businessmen to enter joint ventures with their Russian counterparts and invest in the water-rich country.
In remarks to The Jordan Times on Wednesday, Ministry of Agriculture Spokesperson Nimer Haddadin said the ministry has met with Jordanian businessmen to brief them on the opportunities for investment in wheat cultivation in Russia, which “will be solely implemented by the private sector”.
Haddadin added that the commercial attach of the Russian embassy in Amman, following a meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture Secretary General Radi Tarawneh, said his country will send official invitations to Jordanian businessmen and ministry officials to visit Russia and have a practical look at investment opportunities.
In April 2012, the agriculture ministry received an official letter of approval from the Russian authorities for Jordan’s request to invest in wheat cultivation in Russia, a water-rich country with ample quantities of arable land.
Ministry officials at the time said that the letter came as the result of meetings former minister of state and minister of agriculture, Samir Habashneh, had held with representatives of the private sector in Moscow, who expressed willingness to enter joint ventures with Jordan in wheat cultivation.
In October 2011, Habashneh and other ministry officials met with their counterparts from Romania, Russia, Bulgaria and Kazakhstan to discuss acquiring pieces of land to be developed for this purpose by Jordanian investors.
In previous remarks to The Jordan Times, Haddadin pointed out that officials intend to establish a joint Jordanian-Russian firm that will be run by the private sector in the two countries and supervised by the agriculture ministry.
“The anticipated investments will be implemented in the southern territories of Russia, largely around the city of Sochi on the Black Sea — Russia’s largest transport hub,” he said.
As a result of the insufficiency of local wheat production  and the unsuitability of the Kingdom’s environment for growing the staple crop, mainly due to the severe lack of water resources, Jordan imports over 90 per cent of its wheat needs from the US, Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, he said.
Haddadin added that the Kingdom’s major exports to Russia are vegetables, olive oil and dates.
According to the Department of Statistics, Jordan produces around 5 per cent of its needs of wheat , while the rest is imported from other countries, mainly the US.
The Kingdom imported 98 per cent of its wheat needs in 2009 and 96 per cent in 2010.