Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

Agritourism creates new opportunities for women in Jerash

Agritourism has expanded to the north of Jordan as new experiences in the governorate of Jerash join the BookAgri network of farms and homes that offer agritourism experiences. BookAgri is led by Al Marj Non-Profit for Training and Development Company (Al Marj), and supported by USAID BEST, to develop agritourism in the rural areas of Ajloun, As-Salt and Jerash.

The first new experience is making pastries Um Mustafa’s home in the village of Nahleh; visitors learn to work with local herbs and are taught to make traditional pastries, which are then baked and enjoyed as a meal and learning about the Aloe Vera plant used by Um Mustafa to make various kinds of natural soaps and creams. The second is Um Hamza’s Bed and Breakfast. Um Hamza has two rooms available for guests and provides home-cooked meals. She also teaches visitors how to make traditional clay objects.

As part of the BookAgri expansion to the north of Jordan, a new sales outlet has been established at the Anabtawi Bee Farms to promote BookAgri products. The outlet is located along the Amman-Irbid highway and creates opportunity for the women who produce BookAgri projects to sell their products to a wider market. The display exhibits home-made products made by 15 women who are part of the expanded BookAgri network in Ajloun and Jerash.

The expansion of agritourism to the north of Jordan follows on from the success of Al-Marj’s agritourism initiative in As-Salt, also supported by USAID BEST, where 13 farms and rural homes have been equipped to host visitors. Al-Marj and USAID BEST worked with local farmers to develop agritourism experiences and products at local farms. Each farm specializes in different goods and services, ranging from producing dairy products and honey to harvesting zaatar, sumac, jameed making, olives and berries. These experiences have created part-time or full-time work for more than 200 people in Al-Balqa, Ajloun and Jerash, most of whom are women. 

USAID BEST supports the development of agritourism in Jordan as part of its efforts to diversify tourism products and experiences in Jordan and to attract visitors to secondary tourist sites, lengthen the duration of their stay and create jobs for local communities.