The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Agriculture Ministry sign agreement to support aquaponics

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has signed an agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture to provide capacity building and technical support for the Integrated Agri-Aquaculture farming systems in Jordan.
The Technical Cooperation Project (TCP) was signed on Tuesday by FAO Representative Ad-Interim in Jordan Alexis Bonte and Minister of Agriculture Ibrahim Shahahdeh, toward the “Introduction of Aquaponics and Hydroponics in Support of Effective Use of Water”, according to an FAO statement made available to The Jordan Times.
According to the FAO’s website, aquaponics is a recirculating food production system that uses less than 10 per cent of the water normally required for fish farming and plant production. Aquaponics systems conserve water and plants growing in these systems grow quicker, larger and with a higher yield (15 per cent) than those growing in a regular hydroponics system. 
The joint project falls within FAO’s regional initiatives on water scarcity and encouraging small-scale family farming across the Near East and North Africa, and is designed to train 60 unemployed agricultural engineer graduates and farmers the statement said. 
The project also seeks to set up a knowledge base and research on “Hydroponics and Aquaponics” farming units at one of the Ministry’s centres.
According to Bonte, the TCP is designed “to promote a new idea and bring technology to Jordan as one of the main challenges here is water scarcity”. 
The agreement is also set to further contribute to increase the water efficiency in Jordan through the integrated agri-aquaculture farming systems, he added. 
For his part, Shahahdeh said that the agreement falls within the ministry’s goals to activate projects with direct impact on farmers, society and crop development, according to the statement. 
Jordan’s 2025 Vision aims to, among other things, improve national water security and agricultural productivity. The 2016-2025 water strategy is based on integrated water resource management approach, while the Jordan Economic Growth Plan (2018-2022) acknowledges the need to capitalise on new agricultural technologies such as hydroponic systems to enhance the efficiency of the agriculture sector in Jordan. 
The agricultural sector consumes more than half of the Kingdom’s total water supply, which is listed as one of the three poorest countries in terms of water resources, the statement said. 
Jordan Times
1 January 2020