Our first grant for research in Jordan improved reforestation methods on severely eroded and degraded land. Subsequent funding focused research on areas key to the country’s development, such as farming technology, health care, information systems, and entrepreneurship.
Results included improved farming practices for chickpeas and lentils, and better greenhouse technology. Jordan’s poorest citizens have benefitted from research on plant-breeding techniques and new water conservation technology.
Improving crop varieties with farmers
Jordan has a wealth of useful plants, including barley, wheat, lentils, chickpeas, figs, olives, and capers. Preserving their genetics can help future generations breed crop varieties and address new challenges.
We facilitated national agricultural agencies in Jordan to formally involve smallholder farmers in plant breeding, to preserve and improve genetic resources. Jordanian researchers worked with an international team from China, Nepal, and Peru to develop a legal framework for genetic resources. The framework includes a benefit-sharing regime with farmers whose participation in plant breeding leads to better locally adapted crops.
Saving water, saving money
According to the World Health Organization, people need at least 1,000 cubic metres of water each year to maintain their health. In Jordan, however, people can access only about one-fifth of this amount.
With our support, the Inter-Islamic Network on Water Resources Development and Management built affordable household systems to treat greywater — wastewater collected from laundry tubs, sinks, and showers. By irrigating their gardens with greywater, families on the outskirts of Tafila who tested the system were able to conserve water, produce more food, and save money. The Government of Jordan has since encouraged more pilot tests and revised national building codes to ensure greywater is separated from toilet water.
56 activities worth CA$9 million since 1976
Our support is helping
- assist policymakers in developing critical, modern services for the region
- understand and integrate tribalism into Jordan’s political system
- develop policies that strengthen moderate Islamist elements and advance political reform, respect for human rights, and regional peace and security
- improve greywater treatment and use, and create wastewater management systems in rural areas
- ensure fair access and benefits for genetic resources developed through participatory plant breeding