Smart DESERT Project Signed Five Agreements with Agriculture Cooperatives to Improve Working Conditions for Farmers and Workers in the Agriculture Sector in North-Eastern Badia Highlands
Smart DESERT Project, signed five agreements with Agriculture Cooperatives from the North-Eastern Badia Highlands to improve working conditions for Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanians through legal support, training, and awareness campaigns on labor rights while strengthening the ability of cooperatives to act as more effective advocates for decent work conditions.
Smart DESERT project funded by Agence Française de Développement (AFD), delivered a training of trainer program to the cooperatives that focused on labor rights, raising work standards, and relevant by-laws, regulations, and procedures related to employment contracts, flexible work permits, and workplace inspections. The trained cooperatives will in turn cascade training to employers and workers alike to educate them on labor rights, including child labor and protection issues, access to health insurance and schooling for farm workers and their families, raised working and living conditions on farms, as well as gender equality and female-empowerment principles.
The Project is implemented by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Horizons for Green Development, Blumont , Greentech, and Inter-Islamic Network on Water Resources Development and Management (INWRDAM).
Caroline Haddad, Blumont Jordan Country Director, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the vulnerabilities of Syrian and Jordanian agricultural workers, leading to increased poverty, deteriorating wages and work conditions, and higher risks to children, including school dropout, child labor, and child marriage.”
She added: “The Jordanian government has made significant strides in efforts to improve work conditions and formalize the sector, yet much more needs to be done to educate workers and employers on labor rights and decent work standards, with opportunities to elevate the role of agricultural cooperatives in furthering these rights.”
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 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.