Hydroponic projects are one solution to growing food in refugee camps

(Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — With plastic pipes up to four inches in the Azraq Syrian refugee camp, 40 years old Syrian refugee Abdel Ghani Khalaf was able to implement an aquaculture project in the camp after coming from the Syrian province of Aleppo in 2016.اضافة اعلان

With the support from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Khalaf was able to implement the hydroponics project after numerous attempts that began in 2018 after a visit to the camp by Syrian professor Muaaed Muslamani from the University of Sheffield, where the aim of the visit was to introduce the hydroponic agriculture and benefit from the desert conditions of the camp, which lacks agricultural qualifications such as water sources and poor arable soil.

Khalaf said he kept in touch with Professor Muslimani via WhatsApp to master the agricultural techniques. After six months, with some simple tools and materials such as seeds and simple agriculture devices, Khalaf successfully grew some kinds of vegetables like lettuce and cornflower, only through water and without the need for soil.

After this success, Khalaf received the material support of UNHCR, in addition to his mandate to build four production systems in the camp. Khalad trains camp residents who have the desire to learn hydroponic techniques, with the Al-Azraq camp today having seven existing production lines that have been linked to the self-sufficient production of some vegetables.

"The project is based on some very simple techniques and tools that have been reused as plastic packaging to establish plant roots, according to Khalaf.
However, the project needs new technologies and tools to expand, spread, and grow new species of plants in this field.

In the middle of the desert, he dreams that every family in the camp will have its own production line, through which they will be able to provide vegetables, such as cucumbers, peppers, and lettuce.

The harsh environmental conditions are not the only ones experienced by refugees inside the camps. Economic and living conditions sometimes outweigh them.

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