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From Drought to Growth ITC starts Tailor-made Training to develop the Jordanian agricultural sector

The Dutch Organisation for Internationalisation in Education (Nuffic) has recently granted the Faculty of ITC funding to develop a Tailor-made Training focused on smart agriculture with advanced geospatial technologies. The Faculty of ITC, together with Yarmouk University, aims to develop the agricultural sector in Jordan by utilising the power of geoinformatics science and by building the capacity of local professionals.

Sixty per cent of Jordan's water supply is used by agriculture, which accounts for 4% of the country's GDP. Around fifteen per cent of the population relies on agriculture as their primary source of income. However, due to the challenging market environment and poor economic outcomes, the agriculture industry is not appealing for investment. Small-scale farmers are either quitting the industry or living in difficult conditions. Incorporating advanced geospatial technologies along with efficient crops and water management may save the agriculture sector in Jordan and increase its GDP share.

Date palms

The key target for ITC is the date palm tree. As a key crop in Jordan’s agricultural economy, it offers Jordan job opportunities and revenue for many rural areas. “The dates business has developed greatly in the last few years in Jordan, so it makes sense to focus on that crop first. But the same workflow can be applied to other types of crops in the future”, says project lead Bashar Alsadik, assistant professor at the Department of Earth Observation Science.

Remote sensing

Recognised worldwide for its expertise in geoinformatics, ITC wants to develop training for the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) remote sensing for smart agriculture. “These UAVs can use Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and Imageries for advanced data collection”, say Alsadik. The data analysis will cover topics such as individual tree counting, palm tree characterisation, monitoring date palm pests, estimation of potential water use/requirements for agricultural areas and assessing crop water stress.

More information

Dr. Bashar Alsadik is an assistant professor at the Department of Earth Observation Science (EOS; Faculty of ITC). His work focuses on, among others, Photogrammetry, Mobile mapping and LiDAR technology. The Tailor-Made Training will be fully developed by the first of July 2024.

Nuffic Orange Knowledge Programme

The grant and Tailor-Made Training is part of the Orange Knowledge Programme. The Orange Knowledge Programme is a €195-m Dutch global development programme, available in 53 developing countries and managed by Nuffic, a Dutch non-profit organisation for internationalisation in education. Launched in mid-2017, it aims to contribute to a society’s sustainable and inclusive development by offering access to education and training to professionals and organisations.

K.W. Wesselink - Schram MSc (Kees)
Science Communication Officer (available Mon-Fri)