On January 4th, 2018, the Jordan Hydroponic Agriculture and Employment Development (HAED-Jo) Project signed a trilateral agreement with Royal Brinkman and Abu Sido farms for the supply and commissioning of a state-of-the-art greenhouse, hydroponic, and growing systems.
This agreement is part of HAED-Jo’s interventions that aim to advance the Jordanian horticultural sector by providing technical and management innovations suitable for arid and semiarid climates to increase produce quality and quantity, meet market requirements, and be able to compete with high-end regional and international producers.
Abo Sido farms were established in 1970 by Hassan Abo Sido, the family business, owned by Hassan and his sons, started with a single tunnel greenhouse and now spans 1500 single tunnels and 150,000 square meters of open field. The farms produce mainly vegetables and are expanding to fruits.
Abo Sido farms are keen to continue expanding both the quality and quantity of their produce, and have thus chosen to install an advanced greenhouse and hydroponic system for the tangible benefits it will have on their crop. Mohammad Abo Sido added that they are particularly interested in the climate control within the greenhouses and the use of hydroponics to grow cherry tomatoes.
Royal Brinkman is a supplier, installer and consultant for the professional horticultural industry, and is considered a global specialist. The company has experience in the region, and has previously installed systems that are suitable for arid and semi-arid environments.
According to Ep van den Brink, Royal Brinkman’s area manager, the system to be installed showed success in similar climate and agricultural conditions, and therefore, are promising for Jordan.
Hassan Abo Sido added that the farm aims to be a pioneer in Jordan by installing ad operating these systems and greenhouses, and hopes that the site will also serve as a demonstration site of Dutch agricultural technologies in Jordan.
As part of this agreement, Royal Brinkman will provide a cost share of 10%, and will supply all the components, from the greenhouse structure, the screens, the hydroponic growing system, and climate control computer and sensors. Additionally, Royal Brinkman will oversee the installation and commissioning of the system and greenhouse, while also training the farm’s workforce on how to use the equipment.
Ep also added that this project is a first step to other several projects within the country. The company is interested in working within Jordan and supporting the advancement of the sector by upgrading current greenhouses and growing systems, in order to increase productivity, while reducing fertilizer and water use.
In partnership with HAED-Jo, Royal Brinkman will also conduct a workshop to train growers and workers on how to operate these systems in order to reach maximum benefits.
The greenhouse and system are expected to be operational in the end of May 2018 and the 7056m2 greenhouse will be used to grow cherry tomatoes, according to Mohammad Abo Sido, the crop has high potential in the market, adding that they might also pilot capsicums and table tomatoes. This specific system offers growers the option of growing two different crops, each under their specific climate and fertigation needs.
Raed Daoud, Eco Consult’s managing director said that this agreement is at the core of HAED-Jo’s aim to support the agricultural sector’s advancement and foster sustainable and long term partnerships between Jordanian and Dutch companies and experts that will only grow with the adoption of advance and efficient agricultural systems and technologies. He adds that this greenhouse is the first of several in the project’s pipeline, and will serve to demonstrate the success of these systems under Jordanian conditions. The project will also provide technical and operational support to the farm in order to ensure maximum benefit, as well as build the capacity of the farm’s workforce ion hydroponics, while also ensuring the recruitment and employment of Syrian refugees and Jordanians in the greenhouse and/ or resulting postharvest.
Through the HAED-Jo provided cost share for implementation and targeted technical and operational support, farmers would be able to recover costs of investment in few years, while also accessing new markets.
The Jordan Hydroponic Agriculture and Employment Development Project (HAED-Jo) aims to advance efficient farming in Jordan and create employment opportunities for Jordanians and Syrian refugees in agricultural production and associated postharvest chains. The project, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands to be implemented from 2017 to 2019, focuses on increasing resilience of the hosting communities in Jordan. The project will contribute to improving the efficiency and productivity of Jordanian horticulture, creating workforce opportunities in the value chains, increasing economic and livelihood opportunities for Jordanians and Syrian refugees, advancing programming and leveraging funding for efficient farming in Jordan.