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Training launched to boost modern agricultural practices

By JT - Sep 21,2020 - Last updated at Sep 21,2020

AMMAN — Fifteen female graduates from seven universities in Jordan will take part in a “unique” training programme to boost modern agricultural practices in the Kingdom.

The modern agricultural upskilling programme was launched on Thursday, according to a statement from the organisers.

The 12-week intensive training programme, which is financially supported by the Norwegian government and the Italian-based Costa Crociere Foundation, will take place at Al Hussein Technical University (HTU) in Amman and on the land of the Sahara Forest Project (SFP) facility in Aqaba and will be led by Jordanian and international experts. 

The 15 female graduates will be trained on water management, basics of hydroponics, renewable energy, organic farming as well as agricultural economics. 

The content of the programme is designed with input from industrial partners such as MIRRA - Methods for Irrigation and Agriculture, Eco Consult, and Mujeb Organic Farm, the statement said.

The training programme will end with a graduation ceremony in December. 

 The new training programme came as a follow up of the state visit by King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway to Jordan in March; accordingly Al Hussein Technical University President Labib Khadra and SFP’s Managing Director Kjetil Stake signed the agreement in June.

HTU Vice President Ismael Hinti appreciated the embassy’s role in sponsoring this programme, which aims to improve the skills of young Jordanian women and provide them with the latest available technology skills in the field of agriculture and sustainability.

He added that the university always seeks to develop “distinguished partnerships” that benefit Jordanian students looking for job opportunities and is constantly working to develop their skills to match the requirements of the labour market and qualify them to compete at the regional and global levels.

Managing Director of the SFP Kjetil Stake, said: “Three years after the inauguration of the Sahara Forest Project in Aqaba, we look forward to welcoming 15 Jordanian female talents to our facility in Aqaba, and we are enthusiastic to work closely with HTU to inspire the trainees to seek careers in climate-smart agriculture. The best way to motivate is ‘learning by doing’, and we are determined to make this training programme a success”.

Norwegian ambassador to Jordan Tone Allers said she is delighted with the fact that the cooperation between HTU and the SFP “will now move into action”. 

“The first training comes timely, as the pandemic has made clear to us how important, it is to use the crisis to implement the shift to a greener economy,” the envoy said. 

“Norway is happy to work with Jordan towards this goal, not the least through our support for the SFP,” she added. 

“With the mentorship by competent organisations from both sides, I am convinced that these 15 women will be important resources in the future,” the ambassador said

Secretary General of the Costa Crociere Foundation Davide Triacca said: “Not only the collaboration with the Sahara Forest Project has made us proud; more importantly it has been a source of inspiration for us, our colleagues in the foundation and the many thousands of guests and stakeholders that we made aware of it. 

“Now such an innovative and ambitious project will have the chance to benefit from the talent of 15 young students in this collaboration with HTU. Based on our experience, we know how vital their ideas and capacity can be in contributing to the project’s success. We will keep a close eye on them”.

The Sahara Forest Project Foundation is a Norwegian non-profit established to enable sustainable and profitable innovation and deployment of environmental technologies within the food, water and energy sectors, according to the statement.

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