A Hydroponic Green Farming Initiative

Innovator (Country of Incorporation): 
Jordan
Collaborators: 
El Wir Farm in Zarqa River and one large farm in the Highlands. The community households cluster will be identified during the feasibility study.
Location Applied: 
Clean Energy Source: 
Agricultural Focus: 
Product Segment: 
Year of Award: 
Financing Status: 
Organization: 

Established in Jordan in 1995, ECO Consult is a leading development firm with more than 15 years of experience working in Jordan and the Middle East. Past work includes projects in public sector reform, private sector development, local governance and development zones, energy, water, and environment.

Problem/Opportunity: 

Jordan is considered to be one of the ten most water-scarce countries in the world. As water becomes scarcer, its availability for agriculture is expected to decrease. Hydroponic technology, an intensive form of agriculture, uses much less water than conventional farming and offers an excellent opportunity for farmers to increase their income while reducing their water use. Although farmers have expressed their interest in this new technology, its application in Jordan is still limited.

Clean Energy Solution: 

ECO Consult has developed an integrated model of hydroponic and photovoltaic farming to compete with conventional greenhouse technology and drip irrigation systems. To make the technology attractive to large-scale commercial farms, ECO Consult will retrofit a multi-span greenhouse with advanced hydroponic technologies and photovoltaic panels to generate enough power to operate the lighting, pumping, and air moderation systems.

Impact: 

ECO Consult works with small household farms, as well as large commercial farms, to educate them and help them adopt basic hydroponic systems to allow them to produce high quality vegetables and maximize their economic return per cubic meter of water, while saving large volumes of water. Through the establishment of 10 demonstration sites, ECO Consult shows farmers how to start and manage these farming systems. As more farms adopt these new technologies at a small scale, rural households will realize additional sources of income and new employment opportunities, including women and youth.

Progress Update: 

ECO Consult focused heavily on expanding the knowledge and use of hydroponics by Jordanian farmers, private companies and suppliers. Four additional demonstration sites were established; two were commercial sites; one in the Jordan Valley and another in Yadoudeh, the third site in Bani Kananeh, and the last site in Mafraq. Over 399 people attended field demonstration days or visited the project sites to learn how to start their own hydroponics. ECO Consult held an extensive five day training course in the Netherlands at Wageningen University (WUR) Research Station where Jordanian representatives from government, private sector, farmers and the project team were trained on hydroponic farming systems and took part in field visits and lectures to learn about the Dutch experience in the domain of horticulture and hydroponics.

Project News: 
Aug. 5, 2016

USAID’s first Global Water Coordinator recently visited several USAID-supported project sites in the Middle East. His trip included a stop at one of ECO Consult’s hydroponic greenhouses. This water-saving technology reduces water usage by up to 40% and significantly increases crop yields.

Jun. 5, 2016

Hydroponic agriculture—growing crops without soil—can be traced back to ancient times. In the Middle East, local agriculture cannot provide enough food due to shortages of water and arable land. Jordan sees potential in hydroponics, using up to 90 percent less water than conventional agriculture.

May. 9, 2015

U.S. Ambassador to Jordan Alice Wells showcased locally-grown hydroponic and organic vegetables during a May 9 reception with Jordanian producers and government officials in honor of the visit to Jordan by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack.