The Smart DESERT project aims at creating a paradigm shift in the agricultural sector in Jordan by improving the regularity of income for Jordanian and Syrian beneficiaries throughout the year in the project area (the North-Eastern Badia Highlands) through long-term agreements to purchase the offered products, the adoption of smart farming practices, and job creation. The project, which also aims to support the improvement of working conditions for agricultural workers, will focus on smart farming, efficient irrigation, proper crop selection, use of non-conventional water resources, and meeting market requirements.

The Smart DESERT project targets the North-Eastern Badia Highlands, specifically Mafraq, Zarqa, Jerash, and Ramtha .

Through the Smart DESERT project and in cooperation with the National Center For Agricultural Research (NARC), a business support incubator has been established – the first of its kind in the agricultural sector in the region, to facilitate access to technical, legal, and business management services to farmers and home-based business owners.  The business incubator will also provide a space for innovation and entrepreneurship for young men and women interested in the agriculture sector.

The business support incubator targets  youth entrepreneurs interested in the agricultural sector and provide services free of charge.

You can contact us via this mobile number: +962 77 041 0932

All support and training opportunities will be posted online through the project’s Facebook page. Applications can be submitted accordingly, and you can also share the announced links with others.

The Smart DESERT project will extend support to 500 agricultural home-based projects and 200 farms in North-Eastern Badia Highlands. Project beneficiaries are Jordanians and Syrian refugees working in the agricultural sector as farm owners, food processors, and home-based business owners (mainly women).

The selection of farms or home-based projects follows thorough rigid criteria, defined by project donor and partners.

The project builds the capacity of home-based business owners by developing and marketing their products over several phases; starting with offering legal support throughout the registration and licensing process, receiving business trainings; also link them with local markets and online marketing platforms to showcase their products and access new markets. Seed in kind grants are also provided where needed.

The project will launch a registered company that signs agreements with medium and large markets locally and globally. It will also provide technical support and steer all the activities under the business support incubator to meet the market needs in terms of quality, seasonality, and quantity. Moreover, the company will sign agreements with beneficiaries to purchase, package, market, store, and ship/deliver their products to customers/clients. Furthermore, the project will provide direct assistance to market the products, raising their value to increase their incomes and mitigate the effects of seasonality on their agricultural activity.

The project is funded by The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and led by The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) through a consortium of organizations: Bluemont Organization, Horizons for Green Development (HGD), GreenTech, The Inter-Islamic Network on Water Resources Development and Management (INWRDAM), in partnership with the National Agricultural Research Center (NARC).

The technical support will focus on productivity and the dissemination of improved agricultural practices, by providing technical trainings to farmers to adopt the best on-farm practices, in terms of irrigation efficiency, crop selection to meet market needs, unconventional water use; as treated wastewater, rainwater harvesting, and usage of saline water.

The project will also support farmers, food manufacturers, and home-based business owners by implementing market research to examine the market needs within the local, regional, and international markets, along with offering them consultations and building their capacity to kick-start production to match the market needs by applying modern techniques in agriculture, irrigation, and manufacturing, that reduces costs using solar energy and increasing energy efficiency.

The project will also establish a smart hub to support farmers using the latest technologies to monitor soil, plant, and weather conditions in farms and field stations, therefore advising farmers on the best practices to control the conditions in their farms remotely.

The smart farmer support hub will employ algorithms to forecast potential disasters, provide guidance to farmers through messages via a smartphone application, as well as guide farmers through the required steps to reduce risks and costs. In addition, the project will offer an early warning system for disasters risk reduction related to floods, locusts, frost, and any other potential hazards.