Jordan's most valuable commodity is rock phosphate. And since the world food shortage of the?
Jordan's most valuable commodity is rock phosphate. And since the world food shortage of the seventies has pushed up the demand for phosphate ?ased fertiliser, production in Jordan is reaching impressive n?????eight?.
Last year, production topped the previous record year -- back in 1968 -- b? almost 50 per cent. More than 1.6 million tons of production were ex?????d, bring in four times the 1973 revenue -- indeed more than the total avenue for all Jordanian exports during that year.
There ?? plenty of room for further expansion, since natural reserves are estimated at over 800 million tons. So phosphates will play a crucial ??le in King Hussein's declared intention of making Jordan economic by viable within the next three or four years.
This year the production target is 2.6 million tons. Most of it will come from the Al-Hasa mines, which alone have an annual production capacity of 1.6 million tons.
To speed up exploitation from these mines, the Jordanian Government has sunk about GBP20 million sterling into a new railway link, largely financed by a 30-year West German loan, which joins Al-Hasa with the port of Aqaba.
West German, French and Jordanian construction companies are cooperating on the project.
Such is the current demand for phosphates that Jordan is now able to export around the world. Japan and India are the principal customers, but Jordanian phosphates also find a market as far afield as Taiwan, Tanzania and Yugoslavia.