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FAO Honors Small Farmers in Jordan
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FAO Honors Small Farmers in Jordan
Jordan has introduced modern farming technology to overcome the challenge of feeding its population of five million. Only five percent of Jordan?s land is arable, yet with assistance from the government and FAO, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, the country can now feed its population and export produce to more than thirty-three countries in the Middle East and Europe.
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Produced by UN in Action.

Find out more about the FAO's introduction of farming technology in Jordan.

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Segment 1

VOICEOVER
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan faces an enormous challenge -- how to feed its five million people when only five percent of its land is farmable. Spending nearly two hundred million dollars a year just to import food, Jordan knew it had to find a solution, and quickly. And it did just that. How? By harnessing the power of the small farmer. In a move that's part innovation and part miracle, Jordan managed to turn small rural farms into major food suppliers and in so doing, changed the life of local farmers in ways they could never have imagined. It's all part of a multimillion dollar national strategy, a joint effort of the government and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, FAO. Awni Taema, Director-General of Jordan's Ministry of Agriculture, says all the farmers needed were up-to-date training, and a small investment.
AWNI TAEMA [Director-General, Jordan's Ministry of Agriculture]
We face a challenge in Jordan. We have to use new technologies and modern farming techniques to utilize these small farmable pieces of land to produce enough to secure food for the whole country.
FIDDAH IBRAHIM AL-DAYAAT [Farm Owner]
They have brought in agricultural engineers who come with us into the field and teach us how to farm.
VOICEOVER
Fiddah Ibrahim Al-Dayaat is just one of thousands of farm owners now taught modern and cost-effective farming techniques, like how to harness the sun as a non-chemical pesticide and how to use easily available fertilizers to boost their crops. And she's just one of thousands to receive a small loan to modernize and expand their farms. With a few thousand dollars, Fiddah built a pond to create year-round irrigation and constructed ten green houses in which to grow vegetables in controlled conditions. So just how successful is Jordan's campaign? The country has seen its food production increase by nearly fifty percent in less than five years. Today, it exports its agricultural products to more than thirty-three countries throughout the Middle East and Europe. As for Fiddah, it also brought her something deeply personal -- in 2003 she was made "Farmer of the Year" and awarded a medal for dedication and productivity. It was an unexpected honor for a woman who only a few years ago worried about putting food on her table. United Nations Television prepared this report.