New developments have emerged in the solar energy loan project in Jordan. The Ministry of Energy has entered into an agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture to support the second phase of the program, which aims to install solar systems for farmers in Jordan. This support comes in the form of loans granted by the Agricultural Credit Corporation, with the Renewable Energy Promotion Fund covering the loan interest.
This agreement holds significant importance as it will help reduce the production costs for farmers, encompassing various agricultural activities, both animal and plant-related. Under the terms of the agreement, the loans provided to the benefiting farmers will be interest-free. An allocation of one million and 140 thousand Jordanian dinars has been earmarked within the lending plan of the Agricultural Credit Corporation.
The beneficiaries will be granted loans not exceeding 20 thousand dinars, with the Renewable Energy Promotion Fund taking responsibility for covering the full interest incurred on these loans for installing solar cell systems. This initiative is expected to decrease the overall agricultural production expenses, create a competitive environment for exports, and improve the profit margins for farms. It aligns with the priorities of economic modernization by supporting the agricultural sector, which is considered a key driver of various sectors. This initiative also aligns with the National Plan for Sustainable Agriculture, aiming to support farmers and enhance the competitiveness of local agricultural products for export.
The agreement was signed by the Minister of Agriculture, Khaled Al-Hunaifat, who also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Agricultural Credit Corporation, along with the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Renewable Energy Promotion Fund and the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Saleh Al-Kharabsha. The Director General of the Agricultural Credit Corporation, Muhammad Dogan, and the Director of the Renewable Energy Promotion Fund, Rasmi Hamza, were also present during the signing.
The program to support the installation of solar cell systems for the agricultural sector began with the first phase, where solar systems were installed for 172 farms across all regions of Jordan at a cost of 2 million dinars. The Renewable Energy Promotion Fund covered the interest on these loans at a rate of 3.5%, amounting to 350 thousand Jordanian dinars.
The second phase of the program aligns with the strategic objectives of the Ministry of Energy and the vision of economic modernization, which aims to expand the use of renewable energy across various sectors, including agriculture. This program is intended to assist small farmers in developing their projects, reducing their electricity bills and the costs associated with diesel engines used on their farms. This, in turn, will enhance their competitiveness in the local market and promote investment in renewable energy.
Furthermore, the program plays a crucial role in raising awareness and knowledge among farmers about the significance of solar energy and its impact on energy costs. It has also contributed to enhancing the competitiveness of farmers in various governorates, particularly in areas without access to electricity, by installing off-grid solar cell systems. The data shows that 36% of the total number of cell systems are not connected to the grid.