HollandDoor is granted permission for a 2-year program to strengthen the horticultural sector in Jordan. In this project, funded by Nuffic and the Dutch ministry of foreign affairs, the aim is to strengthen the main practical training center for the private sector managed by the Agricultural Engineering’s association (AEA) and two secondary schools to improve their performance, overcome some of the main challenges the sector is facing, and boost the interest and employment of youth.
Jordan is deeply affected by the current instabilities in the Middle East, especially the conflicts in neighboring Syria, which have brought hundreds of thousands of refugees to Jordan. This has had a drastic effect on Jordan’s horticulture sector. Jordan has lost export markets (mainly in Eastern Europe) and the competitive position it had in the past. Farmers face negative profit margins, there is an outflow of labor, and the sector has to deal with a serious lack of water. Local food production is a growing concern.
The AEA is an association of more than 20,000 members in Jordan, who jointly established a practical training center (ACT) in the Jordan Valley to serve the agricultural sector. The main objective of this new training center is to demonstrate good practices of water-saving horticultural production (like hydroponics and aquaponics), food safety and improved value chains.
In this program, the aim is to strengthen the team of AEA and its external experts, but also to strengthen two vocational schools and to link them to the private sector. The main training domains are modern, adoptable cultivation practices for farmers but also skills development of the youth who are Jordan’s next generation of growers.
For these trainings, experts from Jordan are involved, working together with HAS University of Applied Sciences in s-Hertogenbosch and Lentiz in Naaldwijk and other Dutch-funded projects also tried to be involved.