More than 100 artisanal food producers showed off their finest culinary creations at Jordan Food Week.
The Jordan Food Week event, which was organized by the USAID Jordan Local Enterprise Support Project and held at the Ras Al Ain Hangar, is a continuation of the program’s support of home-based food entrepreneurs. The project supported 1,200 home-based food businesses over the past three years as part of a five-year plan to strengthen the Kingdom’s economy through small businesses.
“When customers demand locally-made products, businesses are incentivized to develop new products, improve their quality, and create more job opportunities,” said USAID Acting Mission Director Nancy Eslick. “This is the key to encouraging sustainable economic growth in Jordan’s communities.”
For exhibitors residing in rural areas outside of Amman, this event was an unparalleled opportunity to sell their products to a big market with a significant customer base, particularly that around 25,000 people visited the weeklong event.
Amani Rabah from Amman is a mother of four who makes homemade Labneh and jarred pickles. Rabah was supported by IRADA program—a national program led by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation—which helped her register her business so she could sell her products in different bazars across Amman.
As for her participation in the Jordan Food Week, Rabah said the USAID helped her take part in the event for free. “It was a great event that provided us with exposure and free publicity,” said Rabah, adding that she received multiple orders from interested customers who visited the venue. “I hope that in the future I will establish a shop where I can sell the products that I will continue to make in my own house.”
Hanan from Irbid proudly displayed her products that included different types of marmalades, zaatar, pastries and olives. “I took part in this event to gain publicity and experience in selling my products, as well as make a name for myself. I also did it for the revenue,” she said, adding that the USAID trained the ladies on making sweets, pickles, and gave them technical guidance.
The Jordan Food Week was held under the patronage of the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) and the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, and it was sponsored by Luminus Technical University College.
Late last year, new regulations were introduced by the government with support from USAID to make it easier for thousands of Jordanians to obtain licenses to run home-based enterprises.
The new regulations will help minimize startup costs and bureaucracy for some 12,000 micro and small home-based businesses, enabling them to sign legally binding contracts, and gain access to finance from banks or other financial institutions.