FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

FAO launches “Hydroponics and Aquaponics” water-saving systems in Jordan

Amman - February 10, 2020 – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) launched Monday a pioneering project to provide capacity building and technical support for the Integrated Agri-Aquaculture (IAA) farming systems in Jordan.

In line with a technical cooperation agreement signed between the two parties in early January, FAO conducted an inception workshop to acquaint stakeholders and programme partners with the scope and outlines of the project entitled: “Introduction of Aquaponics and Hydroponics in Support of Effective Use of Water.” The workshop covers also the implementation strategy and work plan.

The workshop was under the patronage of his Excellency Eng. Ibrahim Shahahdeh , Minister of Agriculture and attended by a group of stakeholders and government partners.

Hydroponics is the cultivation of plants in water without soil, while Aquaponics combines it with fish production in the same water for the plants.

The project is designed to train unemployed agricultural engineer graduates and farmers, set up a knowledge base and research on “Hydroponics and Aquaponics” farming units. It will be implemented in AlFaisal nursery; one of the agricultural stations of Ministry of Agriculture where women and men have equal opportunities to participate in and benefit from the project’s activities including participation in the trainings, workshops and project implementation activities at all levels. Furthermore, it aims to contribute to support employment of youth and women job seekers, through the creation of employment opportunities in aquaponics and hydroponics.

Alexis Bonte, FAO Representative Ad-Interim in Jordan said, “Studies showed that every 1 kg of tomato needs 63 liters of water in conventional agriculture, while it only needs 26 liters in hydroponics. This is critical for a country where water is a major challenge for sustainable development.”

Shahahdeh says, ”We want to establish a social incubator for hydroponics and aquaponics, where a qualitative shift and a big difference will occur in the agricultural sector.”

This joint project falls within FAO’s regional initiatives on water scarcity and encouraging small-scale family farming across the Near East and North Africa.

Jordan’s 2025 Vision, among others, aims to improve national water security and agricultural productivity. The 2016-2025 water strategy is based on integrated water resource management approach. Jordan Economic Growth Plan (2018-2022) acknowledges the need for capitalizing on new agricultural technologies such as hydroponic systems in the enhancement of the efficiency of agriculture sector in Jordan.