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Entering Cactus Cultivation under the Organic Farming System in Badia of Jordan

Place: jordan, Asia
Quantitative & qualitative enhancement of crop products Quantitative & qualitative enhancement of crop products
Total Budget: € 25.000,00 | Period: From May 2011 To August 2014

Summary

The main aim is to introduce Cactus planting under the organic farming system in arid lands in Jordan, which will be used as fruit for the human, forage for the ruminants and as a raw material for the cosmetics and as fodder for livestock, cactus can be grown under the harsh conditions knowing that arid lands deficiency in nutrients is critical to this initiative. 

Partnership

The National Center for Research and Development -Jordan - Jordan

Lead applicant

The National Center for Research and Development (NCRD) was established at the end of 2010 with an objective to develop scientific capabilities in the areas of nanotechnology, biotechnology, water, food, energy, Badia research and any other research interest of importance to Jordan. The Center assumed the responsibility over already existing centers and programs in the areas mentioned above. All legal, financial and administrative issues have been transferred to the Center. This arrangement provides an opportunity to maximize the utilization of facilities and the coordination of efforts in order to effectively participate in solving problems facing the various economic sectors. It is envisaged that NCRD will lead research activities in Jordan. This requires the prioritization of research fields, coordination of efforts, alleviation of obstacles and provision of logistical and financial support in order to reach research results that solve problems and develop new products and/or services in all industrial, agricultural, commercial and administrative fields. It is also anticipated that NCRD will participate in translating research results into new projects and investments; and create new employment opportunities.

Women's Association in Southern Azraq for Social Development - Jordan

Initiative partner

Women's Association in Southern Azraq for Social Development , established in 1984 to Help the poor, loans for projects rotary ladies, courses to teach sewing, orphanages and child care, and provide services for people with special needs.

Anakeeq Al-Khair Cooperative - Jordan

Initiative partner

Anaqeed Al-Khair cooperative is established to achieve the main following activities: o Dealing with groups and individuals and dependence on collaborative work to improve its participants’ economic, social and cultural rights. o encouraging agricultural projects and professional, industrial and combat unemployment and to provide material aid to needy families o Helping to provide small-scale projects to reduce poverty and unemployment.

The main idea is to plant Cactus under the organic farming system in arid lands in Jordan and conducting training on cactus cosmetics products and as fodder for livestock in Badia (arid land) of Jordan. cactus is one of the important crops used as a fruit for the human, forage for the ruminants and as a raw material for the cosmetics. Cactus can be grown under the harsh conditions knowing that arid lands deficiency in nutrients is critical to this initiative.

The main innovation developed in the  initiative as follows:

o Training of local communities on soap products from Cactus Juice
o production of Creams from Cactus Juice
o Training of farmers on cactus cultivation under the organic farming system
o Developing cutter machine to cut cactus leaves for fodder usage.
o Scientific analysis of cactus has been studied in lads in order to determine the nutrition value of cactus.
o Palatability study of cactus as a forage additive for sheep in the Badia 

Cactus planting development in the desert (Badia) of Jordan for human and l Cactus planting development in the desert (Badia) of Jordan for human and livestock uses

Cactus is well adapted to resist drought and optimal exploitation of water sources. It is a plant of patience from plants multi-use and benefits. It has been observed recently spread cultivation of cactus in Jordan, especially in the areas around villages and homes, farms and production was exploited for family consumption or for local markets, and during the recent spread intensive farms in Jordan, especially in Madaba, Irbid and Giza, where the estimated area planted with aloe and almost 1,000 acres in addition to the areas of scattered individual plants and fences in the various governorates of the country.
The project is implemented in desert of Jordan called (Badia) which describes in other words as arid and semi arid region characterized by low precipitation rate with less than 200 mm yearly, low vegetation cover.Cactus will add agricultural input in desert; it will create new products for people and livestock which will increase their opportunities for new income source.

Cactus cultivation in Tal Hassan in Northeast Badia of Jordan Cactus cultivation in Tal Hassan in Northeast Badia of Jordan

Main results achieved are:

o training of about 127 female on soap and cream production using cactus juice
o Training farmers on the best cropping techniques for fruit and forage production of cactus.
o Developing cutter machine to cut cactus leaves for fodder usage.
o Nutritional value of cactus (leaves and fruits)  has been analyzed
o Palatability study of cactus as a forage additive for sheep in the Badia
o Training Manual on planting cactus under organic farming system has been produced.
o Cactus quantity and confirming the area planted with cactus in Jordan and average productivity, in addition, possibilities of increasing exports.
 

Good quality and quantities of Cactus production in Tal Hassan- Northeast B Good quality and quantities of Cactus production in Tal Hassan- Northeast Badia of Jordan

Beneficairies of the activity and their needs:

o Badia farmers, who are the main targeted group to be trained due to their needs to gain knowledge and skills on cactus planting processes by using organic farming principles, the project has trained them since land preparation, manure application on soil, planting dates, seedling, cultivation, drip irrigation schedule, harvesting.

o Badia Women, they were interested in cactus soap production, and cream production from Aloe Vera which used as hair-cream. cactus 
 

women (Beneficiaries) from Northeast Badia women (Beneficiaries) from Northeast Badia, who attended a training workshop “ Cactus soap and Cactus"
women (Beneficiaries) from South Badia, who attended a training workshop “ women (Beneficiaries) from South Badia, who attended a training workshop “ Cactus soap and Cactus Cream Making”

The people that performed the initiative in the field are:

o Mohammed Al-Faqieh, Project Manager, Organic farming Inspector in Jordan, working as Director of Boitchnology Research Program at the National Center for Research and Development (NCRD) at the Higher Council for Science and Technology (HCST).
o Yahia Al-Nasir, Project Researcher,  the National coordinator for International Technical Networking  of Cactus,  from the National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension (NCARE)
o  Mohamad Al-Oun, Project Consutent in Organic Farming, working for the National Center for Research and Development (NCRD) at the Higher Council for Science and Technology (HCST) 
o Ahmad Horani, Project Researcher, working for EU Projects Unit at the Higher Council for Science and Technology (HCST).
o Sulaiman Ferdous, feild officer,  working for the Badia Research Program at the National Center for Research and Development (NCRD) / Higher Council for Science and Technology(HCST)  
 

Project team -during a training workshop Project team - Eng. Yahia (left) and Eng. Mohammed (right) - during a training workshop in Badia of Jordan

The main difficulties or obstacles that we  had to deal with during the implementation of the initiative:

o frost impact on the cactus, as we worked in desert climate, which affected on cactus cultivation mainly  in the beginning of cactus planting
o limited fund to make more demonstration activities for local communities
 

Impact the environment in terms of energy savings, defence of biodiversity, complete product lifecycle, and other factors are:
o soil physical conditions have been improved  by Planting cactus
o The soil fertility and preventing soil erosion which affected positively on biodiversity of the project area. using organic farming practices have major role in improving
o Appearance of wild animal such as Lizard, which was from the habitant in that area
o Vegetation cover in project area has been improved which will control desertification indirectly.
o It is notably that cactus is reclamation agent  of the soils and lands mainly in arid areas. 

cactus planting improved biodiversity and soil reclamation in desert cactus planting improved biodiversity and soil reclamation in desert (Badia) areas

The project has conducted 3 workshops for targeted group of farmers in 3 different locations in Badia on making soap and cream from cactus juice, attendance average number each one is about 130 participants
One of cooperatives called” Anakeed Al-Khair cooperative” has asked the project team to help them into establishing a new project into their land, we have helped in developing a proposal regarding to this initiative to be implemented in the cooperate in North east Badia of Jordan
Cactus demonstration location is still available for public and interested farmers to visit and see the project in order to gain more information from our field officer in the location. 

Training Manual production: a tool for transferability of the project idea Cactus Planting Training Manual production as a tool for transferability of the project idea

o We have conducted a raising awareness campaign in order to decimate the idea on wide range of farmers in many villages around the location of the cactus project.
o We have promotion calls with 3 other cooperatives in the Badia in order to train a group of women on soap and cream making
o We have conducted a series of training workshops in soap and cream making for locals in their villages. 
o Cactus planting Training Manual has been published and distributed on interested farmers at the end of each training course. 

Cactus Cream Production Training workshop Cactus Cream Production Training workshop
Training Manual, published and disseminated on targeted groups Cactus Planting Training Manual, published and disseminated on targeted groups