As part of a plan to spread awareness and knowledge in hydroponic agriculture and encourage farmers to adopt this technology, HAED-Jo (Hydroponic Agriculture and Employment Development) held a 2-day workshop that included theoretical training as well as site visits. The workshop was attended by 15 people representing research institutions, governmental entities, active individuals and practitioners from the private sector in the field of agriculture and interested stakeholders. The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Nizar Samara, one of a select group of trainers affiliated with the project as well as Eng. Doa’a Amayreh, one of project’s site engineers that oversee design and implementation. The workshop gave an overview of hydroponics and its systems and was followed by site visits to observe actual implementations of differing hydroponic systems and crops.
On day one, Dr. Nizar presented the concept of hydroponics, and highlighted the advantages and the obstacles facing the technique. He showcased the different organic and inorganic substrate growth media and their properties. The presentation also included all hydroponics systems and their design requirements. Other topics covered included preparation for hydroponics agriculture, greenhouse climate control, and irrigation systems. Lastly a brief was given regarding nutrient solution preparation.
Day two included two site visits to HAED-Jo locations implementing hydroponics. The first location was Youth without Borders (YwB) in Ramtha, Irbid. The group examined the raft system in which YwB planted lollo rosso lettuce and are now trying green onions. They reviewed the infrastructure, the irrigation system, as well as the fertigation process. The discussion was followed by a visit to the thyme and sage hydroponic greenhouse that uses the drip irrigation system and is planted in volcanic “tuff”.
The next stop was Abu Sido’s multi-span greenhouse in Kraymeh, Jordan Valley, where the trainees got to see another drip irrigation system but this time for cherry tomatoes planted in rock wool. While traditional tunnel greenhouses offer little control over the internal growing climate, the multi-span greenhouse has many options, and the group saw how the high ceiling, the fogging system, the flaps, and the shading all offer control over the greenhouse humidity and temperature to maximize the growth potential of the plant.