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finance & economyFebruary 23, 2021

MIRRA trains 15 female engineers on innovation, food production


AMMAN — Methods for Irrigation and Agriculture (MIRRA) conducted a capacity building programme for 15 female engineers seeking employment in the fields of agricultural and environmental engineering.

The programme started in October 2020 and ended in December 2020 (30 days, 130 hours), and led to the employment of 40 per cent of the trainees, according to a MIRRA statement.

The beneficiaries were female engineers ranging from 22 to 32 years of age. The trainees had different backgrounds in the fields of agricultural engineering, water engineering and environmental engineering from various academic institutes, including Hashemite University, Jordan University, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Al Balqa Applied University and German Jordanian University.

The programme aimed to enhance the engineers’ capacities in innovation and food production regarding the water-energy-food nexus within Jordan, the statement said.

Designed by MIRRA, the programme covered four training modules: Soilless agriculture technologies, organic farming, non-conventional water technologies, and drip irrigation technologies.

This training was conducted through theoretical sessions, practical training, and field visits to various farms in Jordan.

The trainees visited two soilless agriculture systems in Jerash and Amman, as well as Mais Irrigation Company and Universal for Industry of Drip Irrigation Pipes in order to engage and connect with local irrigation suppliers and understand their practices.

Additionally, the trainees visited Al Fuhais centralised wastewater treatment plant and a number of decentralised wastewater treatment plants in order to learn about treatment processes, stages of treatment and treatment technologies.

Furthermore, a visit to one of MIRRA’s pilot projects in Mafraq was conducted. In this pilot, the trainees observed a combination of technologies including wastewater treatment and reuse systems, water harvesting, low-energy drip irrigation systems, and solar energy systems.

As an outcome of the programme, the trainees gained comprehensive knowledge of soilless agriculture technologies, advantages, and applicability, preparation of nutrient solutions, and also improved their ability to conduct water analysis using several devices.

The trainees can conduct soil texture analyses and prepare soil extract in order to measure soil salinity, and minerals content and have an in-depth knowledge of various technologies relevant to water treatment, desalination and water harvesting.

Additionally, the trainees have a comprehensive understanding of organic agriculture and its governing regulations, are familiar with drip irrigation technologies, filtration, and fertigation, and gained knowledge in various aspects of greenhouse production such as structure, size, design, climate control, crops, and irrigation management.

The programme was requested and funded by the Hussein Technical University (HTU), which signed a training service agreement with MIRRA to design and conduct the programme.

This capacity building programme is the core of the collaboration between HTU and the Sahara Forest Project. The Norwegian government and the Italian-based Costa Crociere Foundation provided additional financial support to the programme.

jordantimes