In Jordan, representative from 20 Arab countries have been meeting to discuss ways of developing agriculture in the Middle East.
GV: Palace of Culture where meeting took place.
SV: Delegates in conference room.
SCU: Saudi Agriculture Under Secretary speaking.
SV: Jordan Agricultural Minister, Marwan El-Hmoud, speaking.
SV: Delegates listening.
SV: Jordan Agricultural Minister, Mr. Hmoud, continues speech, PAN TO other delegates.
SCU: Saudi Agricultural Under Secretary listening.
SV: Other delegates listening. (TWO SHOTS)
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Background: In Jordan, representative from 20 Arab countries have been meeting to discuss ways of developing agriculture in the Middle East.
SYNOPSIS: The Palace of Culture in Amman has been the venue for the seventh session of the Arab organisation for promoting agriculture. The three-day talks were officially opened by King Hussein and have concentrated on topics such as improving crop yields and making the Arab world security self-sufficient in food. Jordan, Sudan, North Yemen, Somalia and Syria were all represented by their Ministers of Agriculture. Other countries sent Under Secretaries of Agriculture, or heads of departments. Some of the strains on Arab unity, which have become apparent recently, were evidenced by the absence of Iraq from the discussions. Iraq is currently involved in a political dispute with Jordan. Also absent were Algeria and the Lebanon. The Middle East produces food crops wheat, barley, rye, maize and rice, mainly for home consumption. Fruit such as dates are important export crops.
Cotton too is important and Egypt produces some of the world's finest. But agricultural productivity in these countries is generally low due to soil deficiencies, the heat, locust swarms and plant diseases. Forms of landholding too have caused problems, though reforms are helping. Capital for improvements is often lacking. But there are some signs of progress. In the Nile Valley, for instance, one or two types of crop yields are now the highest in the world.