AMMAN (JT) – Sapling production in nurseries dropped by around 30 per cent in 2010 compared to 2009, according to the results of a survey conducted by the Department of Statistics (DoS).

The results neither provided the reasons for the decline nor the expected effects.

The number of fruit-bearing saplings went down from 2.9 million in 2009 to around 2.3 million last year, while vegetable-bearing saplings dropped from 310.1 million to 223.9 million, according to the survey.

In addition, the number of forest and ornamental trees dropped by around 80 per cent, each, the survey added.

Private nurseries accounted for 75 per cent of the fruit-bearing saplings produced in 2010 while the public sector accounted for 25 per cent of the overall production.

Meanwhile, the private sector accounted for 35 per cent of the overall production of forest and ornamental trees, while the public sector accounted for the remaining 65 per cent, according to the DoS survey.

Olive trees represented 43 per cent of the nurseries’ overall production in 2010, the survey added.

In light of the importance of agriculture and to improve its contribution to the economy, 2009 was dubbed the year of agriculture, but the lack of sufficient financial allocations hindered the implementation of several projects outlined in the agriculture strategy, then-minister of agriculture, Saeed Masri told The Jordan Times in January 2010.

The government announced several incentives to ensure private businesses’ engagement in agricultural projects and enhance competitiveness in crop production, Masri noted.