FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: July 5 2021
The Sahara Forest Project (SFP) and ECO Consult signed a memorandum of understanding today in the Norwegian Ambassador residence in Amman.
The partnership aims to enable collaboration between Jordanian and International companies within the water-energy-food nexus and relevant technologies. Common priorities for both entities are to improve the agri-tech sector productivity through the utilization of modern technologies and to empower Jordanian women to embark into the agri-tech industry as employees, entrepreneurs, and innovators.
ECO Consult is a development company focusing on green growth sectors and adopting technology and management innovations for economic growth, youth and women empowerment, and advancing prosperity.
Ra’ed Daoud, Managing Director at Eco Consult said during the signing ceremony, “this agreement builds on the efforts that Eco Consult have been doing for the past seven years to boost food security, self-sufficiency, and create more jobs and opportunities for youth in the agricultural sector. We will be using the SFP’s facility in Aqaba to do joint activities and training programs. Eventually, we want to bring the youth back into the agriculture sector.”
Ruba Al-Zubi SFP representative in Jordan said “this collaboration is important for SFP and for the agri-tech industry in Jordan, we aim to work together on joint projects and activities that can leverage the local resources and capacities and contribute to Jordan’s environment, water and energy priorities. We at SFP believe that the future belongs to the visionary businesses that integrate social and environmental sustainability within their business models which is something we have in our DNA.”
Managing Director Kjetil Stake of Sahara Forest Project emphasized: «This is an important and strategic partnership to share knowledge and create concrete projects of mutual benefit. The SFP has main competence within saltwater-based agriculture and the use of renewable energy, and we are impressed by the expertise and competence of EcoConsult and their partners in several sectors. We look forward to engaging with EcoConsult to boost modern agriculture practices, train young professionals and ultimately create new, green jobs in Jordan.
The Norwegian Ambassador Tone Allers who hosted the ceremony said: “I hope that this MOU is just the beginning of many partnerships between the SFP and Jordanian actors. The Norwegian embassy in Amman supports the SFP in its scale up plans with stronger emphasis on local anchoring of its operations and impact.”
SFP facility in Aqaba Jordan was inaugurated by HM King Abdullah II and HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway in 2017, following 3 year trial period. The project is ready for commercial scale-up for production both for the export of vegetables to Europe and for the domestic vegetable market in Amman to replace the import of vegetables from Europe with vegetables produced at the Sahara Forest Project facility in Aqaba.
During the past 12 months, and despite the pandemic SFP managed to export and deliver vegetables grown at the facility to Norway. Furthermore, SFP in collaboration with Hussein Technical University (HTU) managed to train 30 young women on the technologies adopted at the facility.