AMMAN — The Agricultural Innovation Incubator at the Youth Association of Maan for Environmental Preservation has begun to bear fruits.
Located 218 kilometres southwest of Amman, the association was launched by a group of youth in Maan in 2018 with the aim of preserving the environment and developing agriculture in line with climate change challenges through sustainable development programmes.
It also aims to promote volunteerism and enhance the role of the private sector in serving environmental issues, according to a statement from the National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC).
The association focuses mainly on water security and agricultural management through circular and green economy operations, in addition to ensuring and improving community productivity, and supporting the local economy.
The association received support from both the Ministries of Environment and Agriculture, through the NARC Agricultural Business Incubator.
One of the association’s most notable achievements is the Smart Village for Sustainable Development project, which introduced a type of aquatic organic fertiliser that conserves large amounts of water.
The president of the association and the executive director of the project, Samer Abdel Dayem, praised the support of NARC and both ministries.
Abdel Dayem stated that the project has provided 15 job opportunities for locals and has trained 20 women in recycling. The project will offer 150 job opportunities in the future through a practical training centre promoting sustainable agriculture concepts, he added.
Agriculture Minister Khalid Hneifat stated that the Smart Village project is a fundamental component for economic and social development, especially in rural and desert areas, especially in providing job opportunities.
The Ministry of Agriculture will provide logistical and technical support for the project. In return, the association will provide financial support through the grants it has received, the statement said.
Ammar Hattar, the director of Intellectual Property Protection at NARC, said that the “Smart Village for Sustainable Development” aims to further develop the agricultural sector by economically empowering underprivileged Jordanians and Syrian refugees working in the agricultural sector.
One of the most significant innovations of the project is producing high-quality, impurity-free organic fertiliser from the recycling of food waste and agricultural residues. Artificial intelligence is also employed in desert farming processes, focusing on self-reliance in food production, the efficient use of water resources, and economically empowering the underprivileged individuals working in the agricultural sector.
Environment Ministry spokesperson Ahmad Obeidat said the project aligns with the policy of the Ministry of Environment as part of the national afforestation project. The goal is to increase the green cover in Maan Governorate, facilitating the transition towards a sustainable green economy, Obeidat said.
He also pointed out that the ministry will launch an environmental initiative in cooperation with the Maan Youth Environmental Association next month. This initiative will focus on collecting black mulch and black plastic bags in the governorate for environmentally safe disposal in collaboration with all relevant authorities in the governorate.
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