A new Israeli and Jordanian cooperation project
2014-06-25

MEDIA RELEASE

A new Israeli and Jordanian cooperation project
will help solve the house-fly problem on both sides of the border

June 25, 2014
Israel, Dead Sea

A new unique agricultural research cooperation project was signed yesterday (24/06) between the Tamar Regional Council in Israel and South Ghor in Jordan. The project is expected to decrease the huge amounts of houseflies that have been a terrible annoyance to the residents of the area in recent years.

Abnormal concentrations of flies have become a real problem for residents residing on both sides of the Dead Sea, causing them to stay indoors throughout most of the day during the summer months. The source of the rapid reproduction of houseflies is due to fertilization methods used by Jordanian farmers.

According to the agreement signed between the Tamar Regional Council in Israel and the neighboring local council of South Ghor, in Jordan, and mediated by Friends of the Earth Middle East, Israeli farmers will help Jordanians farmers through agricultural training, and by providing resources and knowledge to improve the profitability and sustainability of the local agricultural sector.

Also, a "first-of-its-kind" MODEL FARM will be established on an area of 30 dunams in the area of South Ghor in Jordan. The farm will serve as a center of research for cross-border knowledge on selecting crops and agricultural processing methods such as irrigation, fertilization and plant protection. Cross border training programs for local Jordanian farmers will be conducted in the context of the project as well.

The cooperation agreement was signed at a ceremony held yesterday at the Tamar Regional Council, with the participation of Mayor Dov Litvinoff, his Jordanian counterpart, and representatives from the Jordanian Themar Agricultural Cooperative Society and from Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) - who initiated the cross-border cooperation project.

Gidon Bromberg, Israeli Director of FoEME Israel said that "this unique project was created through a rare convergence of local interests, of shared agricultural-economic problems disturbing the communities of the region. Under the common need for solving the problems of the residents, the project is a bridge for local cooperation that shouldn't be underestimated these days. We hope that the 'model farm' can be the basis of a continuous link between decision makers, Jordanians and Israelis, and enable a leap forward in the relations between the two sides, at the local and regional levels".

FoEME's Jordanian Director, Mr. Munqeth Mehyar, commended the move towards signing the MoU. He commented that "such collaboration will reflect positively on the Jordanian agricultural sector since the Model Farm will function as a center for cross border knowledge sharing to solve pending environmental problems". He added that "the Model Farm will also serve as a training hub for local farmers to allow for the exchange of agricultural best practices which will improve sustainability and profitability of the local agricultural sector."

Dov Litvinoff, Mayor of the Tamar Regional Council added that "this project is one of many collaborations we do with our neighbors and friends in Jordan. This activity indicates a desire for mutual contribution between the parties, and we hope this will serve as a spotlight for future cooperation also on a national level. I also believe that this project will be a great contribution and significantly improve the output of crops among the inhabitants of the region – Israelis and Jordanians alike."

For more information:
Gidon Bromberg; +972-52-4532597; gidon@foeme.org
Munqeth Mehyar: +962-777- 5484777; munqeth@foeme.org