Modern agricultural techniques, a solution to scarcity

hydroponics vegetable farm
(Photo: Envato Elements)
AMMAN – Water scarcity is the main concern of 65 percent of the population of Ajloun Governorate who depends on traditional agriculture for livelihood and income, according to Labor Watch. اضافة اعلان

“This has led them to endeavor another approach, such as using modern agriculture methods”, the director of agriculture in Ajloun Governorate, Hussein Al-Khalidi, told Jordan News.

He added that modern agriculture techniques are becoming more widely used in Ajloun, but project owners and farmers are still in need of continuous guidance, especially for hydroponics farming. Hydroponics is the cultivation of plants without using soil. Vegetables are planted in inert growing media and supplied with nutrient-rich solutions, oxygen, and water.

Khalidi said that “this type of agriculture requires a specific amount of nutrition to be added, and if any mistake happens, it will destroy the whole crop”. As such, he believes that more projects need to be launched, and farmers require help to obtain the equipment needed for modern agriculture.

Ala’a Thalji is a trainer in hydroponics techniques, which she started practicing after finishing her bachelor’s degree in water and environment management at the Hashemite University.

“Through hydroponics, we were able to grow all kinds of greens, such as parsley and rocca, and we also grew tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers,” said Thalji, adding that “you can grow any type of vegetables and fruits with hydroponics agriculture, but it depends on the land area and the system you are applying, as six such systems can be installed”.

According to Thalji, “this type of agriculture is the most suitable in Jordan due to many factors that challenge farmers, such as soil salinity, evaporation rates, and water shortage”.

“This system fosters rapid growth, stronger outcomes, and superior quality, lowers costs and gets more income, which is what we need to focus on,” she added.

She is now working on a project with the Food and Agriculture Organization, in cooperation with the Jordan Agricultural Engineers Association and the Ministry of Agriculture. As part of the project, 50 workshops were conducted last year for up to 600 trainees. This year, 40 workshops have been conducted so far.

Secretary-General of the Ministry of Agriculture Mohammad Al-Hiyari said at the launch of the project last year that the “Ministry of Agriculture is making it a priority to educate farmers on new methods of agriculture that will eventually help them”.

The ministry has established three training centers on hydroponics for this purpose, in the northern Jordan Valley, Thiban and Tafileh, and a unit for hydroponics agriculture with an area of 8,000 square meters in the Tannour Dam area. The centers will be managed by trainees and will create job opportunities for the unemployed in the countryside and the badia.

The Jordan Labor Watch report issued earlier this month stated that more workshops are being considered in modern agriculture, specialized in training agricultural engineers and local communities in Ajloun.

According to a Phenix Center for Economics and Informatics Studies report issued last November, green economy projects will be able to provide 24 million job vacancies by the year 2034, while 6 million traditional jobs might be lost due to them.

Read more National news
Jordan News