By Hana Namrouqa – May 25,2016

AMMAN – Plans are under way to establish a regional centre for trans-boundary animal diseases in Maan Governorate, 220km south of Amman, a government official said Wednesday.

The facility will be established under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Hashemite Fund for Badia Development and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), according to the ministry’s spokesperson, Nimer Haddadin.

Muhammadiyeh village, which the government announced as a development zone last year, will host the project, Haddadin said, to be built on a 1,500-dunum area.

The centre will be tasked with testing local, as well as imported sheep, for animal diseases and to issue certificates for animals that are free of diseases for exporting purposes, Haddadin said, noting that the facility will help Jordan become a regional hub for disease-free sheep.

The centre will be internationally approved by the OIE, which will also certify that the area hosting the centre is free of any animal diseases, the official said, indicating that sheep imported from other countries into the centre can remain free from disease even if an animal disease broke out at the country of origin.

Jordan’s bid to host the facility was recently approved during the 33rdsession of the regional conference for the Near East, which was held in Rome between May 9 and 13, according to Haddadin.

The first phase of the project will be implemented in coordination with Saudi Arabia.

The second phase will include breeding and re-export facilities, slaughterhouses, and factories for preparing meat for domestic and international markets, a recycling plant, laboratories and large livestock yards.

The value of the project would be around $1 billion (around JD700 million) and it is expected to generate over 700 jobs, according to the official.
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