(Amman, September 13th 2022) 18 graduates aged 22-25 from different Arab universities will take part in a unique training programme to boost modern agricultural practices in the Kingdom.
The training will mainly take place at Al Hussein Technical University (HTU) in Amman and on the ground at the Sahara Forest Project facility in Aqaba. The 14-weeks intensive training will be conducted by Jordanian and international experts. This September, the new training programme was launched at an event in Amman under the patronage of H.E Norwegian Ambassador Mr.Espen Lindbaeck.
The trainees taking part will learn more about regenerative agriculture, desalination with renewable solar energy, biological pest control, irrigation efficiency and post harvesting techniques.
As an important part of the training programme, trainees will meet with mentors Dr. Masnat AlHiary, (Sustainability Expert , Innovation Entrepreneurship and Green economy.) and Zeina Ms. Fakhriddin (Head of Operations of Mujeb Organic Farm) and enjoy their mentorship in group discussions, lectures and one-to-one coaching.
The new training programme follows as a result of meetings on the sidelines of the State Visit by Their Majesties King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway to Jordan in March 2020. This first interaction led to the successful first three training cohorts, training a total of 50 young female engineers. A new agreement stepping up the work signed Al Hussein Technical University President Prof. Ismael Al Hinti and Sahara Forest Project Managing Director Mr. Kjetil Stake in August 2022.
The President of Al-Hussein Technical University thanked the embassy for supporting SFP and the program and its interest in improving the skills of Arab youth and providing them with the latest technologies to increase their skills and experience in the field of agriculture and sustainability.
President Prof. Ismael Al Hinti 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 labor market and qualify them to compete at the regional and global levels”.
The Sahara Forest Project Foundation has been working in Jordan since 2011, and has an operational demonstration size facility in Aqaba which was inaugurated by HM King Abdullah II and HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway in 2017.
-I want to thank the participants for signing up to this programme, and I hope we may inspire each other when it comes to boosting climate-smart agriculture in the Kingdom of Jordan. Warm thanks also to everyone at Al Hussain Technical University and UNHCR for your active role in making this happen, Managing Director Mr. Kjetil Stake said at the launch event.
The programme is realized by SFP and HTU, in collaboration with UNHCR and the Norwegian government.
His Excellency Ambassador of Norway to Jordan, Ms. Espen Liandbaeck, “Congratulations to Sahara Forest Project and Al Hussein Technical University for the new agreement to train Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanians at SFP Aqaba. The education of Jordanian youth and Syrian refugees, especially women, in the area of sustainable agriculture is an important step towards improved income and food security”.
UNHCR’s Education Strategy (Refugee Education Strategy) underscores the importance of enabling learners to use their education towards a sustainable future. This program is a step towards increasing contributions by refugee and Jordanian youth supporting Jordan’s adoption of its Climate Change Strategy and Food Security Strategy.
Caroline Haddad, Blumont Jordan Country Director, thanked UNHCR for creating a powerful network of Jordanian and Syrian STEM students and said: “This partnership offers a tremendous opportunity for Jordanian young population with 63% of it being under the age of 30 as it will serve as the engine for economic transformation. This will happen only if these young people are educated, trained, and employable.”
The training programme will start immediately, and will end with a graduation ceremony in December. The training programme will include one to one mentoring sessions and five expert talks. Trainees live in Ma’an, Tafileh, Aqaba, Karak & Mafraq but also a few from governorates all around Jordan.
The trainees will be trained for a period of 14 weeks. 340 hours in total, whereas 180 technical training, 100 hours English, 60 hours soft skills.
The students embarked on the training journey with enthusiasm, and they are now in the third week of the program. The first visit to the Sahara project in Aqaba took place these days, successful experiences and expertise have been gained.