A Delegation from the French Development Agency (AFD) was briefed on the Smart DESERT Project Activities in the Agricultural sector at the North-Eastern Badia Highlands
Mafraq, 3/31/2022 – Today, a French delegation from the French Development Agency (AFD) met the “Smart DESERT” project team within a field tour, where the delegation was briefed on the important activities of the project and modern technologies used in the agricultural sites and farming schools, in addition to meeting with the agricultural home based businesses. The meeting was attended by Mr. Bertrand Walckenaer, the Director General Adjoint of Agence Française de Développement, Mr. Laurent Duriez, The Director of Agence Française de Développement in Jordan, as well as representatives from the Smart DESERT Project and beneficiaries.
Smart DESERT is a pilot-project financed under the Minka Peace and Resilience Fund, dedicated to reducing vulnerabilities and long-term effects of the Syrian refugee crisis in host countries. France, through the AFD, allocated a 10M€ grant to the Smart DESERT project.
Eng. Ali Hayajneh, Project Manager from IUCN said:
This project is one of the most important projects implemented in Jordan in this period, which is align with the royal visions to achieve the food security, and in these current circumstances such projects promote an integrated understanding of water conservation and utilization in agriculture with high efficiency that harmonizes the approach to natural resources conservation and sustainable development in general.
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 project is implemented by IUCN in partnership with Blumont, Horizons for Green Development, Greentech, and Inter-Islamic Network on Water Resources Development and Management (INWRDAM).
It is worth mentioning that the Smart DESERT Project will reach young entrepreneurs and trainees through direct and indirect capacity-building programs, and support 500 agricultural home based businesses and 200 farms in the North-Eastern Badia Highlands.