Strengthening Agricultural Extension Services as a Tool for Food Security in Jordan

Place: jordan, Asia
Sustainable development of small rural communities Sustainable development of small rural communities
Total Budget: € 1.500.000,00 | Period: From February 2002 To February 2012


Empowering young people through targeting farmers and local community, using the extension services as a tool for food security, farmer’s participation is a unique methodology used for sustainable apporach to train, transfer technology and adopt new agricultural mthods to increase income and improve farmer’s livelhoods. Extension services have tangable impact and important contribution in improving food security in Jordan. Other sectors have been taken in consideration such as students, 
innovative farmers are frequently the starting point for extension workers who want to facilitate the intensification and diversification of farming systems to increase farm household income. In many cases, these innovative farmers, if properly approached, can be encouraged to become the leaders of these new producer groups, which will both enhance their reputation within the community as well as increase profits for all members by expanding their supply of high-value products to larger urban markets


National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension - Jordan

Lead applicant

• Organize agricultural research and extension plans for sustainable development. • Adopt the latest agricultural techniques for local conditions. • Disseminate appropriate technologies to farmers through extension agents. • Enhance knowledge and improve skills of researchers and extension agents through education and training activities. • Conduct economic studies. • Evaluate the effect of economic factors on agricultural production. • Capacity building of researchers and extension agents in collaboration with local, national and international partners and provides training and cross-learning opportunities in order to better addressing agricultural development problems.

Ministry of Agriculture - Jordan

Initiative partner

Organization and development of the agricultural sector to achieve the following key objectives and in cooperation with the relevant authorities: 1 increases the production of food and agricultural products. 2-lasting agricultural use of natural resources without damaging the environment. 3 create the right climate for investment in the agricultural sector. 4 rural development and raise production capacity. 5. Increase farmers' incomes and improve their standard of living. 6 to provide protection for the health of livestock and plant environment and active participation in international organizations for the competent regional and international conventions held in accordance with the asset used. 7 improve the efficiency of irrigation water use at the farm level

Ministry of Education - Jordan

Initiative partner

The philosophy of education in the kingdom stems out of the Jordanian constitution, the Islamic Arab civilization, the principles of the great Arab Revolt and the Jordanian national experience. To create and administer an education system based on “excellence,” energized by its human resources, dedicated to high standards, social values, and a healthy spirit of competition, which contributes to the nation’s wealth in a global “Knowledge Economy.”

The aim is to strengthen Agricultural Extension services as a tool for food security through developing organizational structure of extension educational system to transfer good agricultural practices from research results into farmers’ methods and to achieve the goal of increasing plant production and improving farmers livelihoods. The focus of extension programs is primarily on providing the technical knowledge, management skills, and information upon the farmers’ needs to improve their livelihoods in the rapidly changing global economy. In addition, helping farmers in dealing with escalating natural resource problems, including climate change . The primary focus is participatory approach which focuses on getting farmers to work more closely together to achieve both individual and common objectives. An important difference is that front-line extension agents primarily work as “knowledge brokers” in facilitating the teaching–learning process among all targeted groups.

This unique methodology approach used for the first time in the Jordan that showed a concrete impact and continued to be used in our extension system, the focus is shifting more toward technical training farmers how to utilize specific management skills practices and/or technical knowledge to increase their production. Social and economic levels are the most affected by improving extension services due to direct impact on farmers income and impvorved livelhoods.
The development of agricultural sector means build a strong and effective community; the interest by the Directorate of extension programs at the National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension (NCARE) implemented systematic guidance programs for extension system in whole governorates of the Kingdom to help Public Agricultural extension to Disseminate Agricultural information And extension services in effective ways in order to achieve its goal in developing agricultural sector.

Technical training Technical training for farmers’ groups
Technical training Technical training for farmers’ groups

The Jordanian government provides free extension services through Ministry of Agriculture to farmers to improve farm management in order to reach sustainable production. Taking into consideration the safety of this product in terms of environmental aspects, and providing extension services in the areas and to target groups that are not reached by private agricultural companies. The Public agricultural extension has made efforts aimed farmers, men and women to determine their roles in the management of the farm or in the scope of rural communities. Ministry of Agriculture conducted a comprehensive assessment of agricultural extension servies and decided according to the evaluation results to establish the Directorate of Agricultural Extension and Information to disseminate and transfer technology and knowledge in order to meet the needs of the target based on knowledge of the reality and the needs of the  farmers and their  potentially economic and social development. 

o Implemented 480 extension programs
o Conducting 3961 extensional activities (workshops, seminars, lectures, field training), Implementation of the 460 demonstration in the farmers field,
o Creation of teamwork between the farmers and the local community and agricultural extension workers
o 5000 trained small scale man and women farmer, youth ,and schools students
o main training topics such as (seedling production, irrigation system, Fertigation, food processing, cultivation medical and aromatic plants, IPM technology,  urban Agriculture, water harvesting, regenovation pruning of old olive trees, organic farming, fish farming, Livestock management,  Increase and improve the production on main crops) 
o Empowering rural women.
o An electronic extension.
o Also, training on new technologies such as the use of sponges, manufacturing silage, preparing feed mixes, use Hatcheries, fish farming, breeding rabbits and chickens homemade, nutrition in various stages of growth, beekeeping.

NCARE Extension NCARE Extension Programs topics during 12 years of work
NCARE Extension NCARE Extension Programs number into each governorate in Jordan.
NCARE Extension NCARE Extension Programs number per year

o Farmeres (man and women): increase prductivity, rational use of chemicals, increase income, improving livelihood.
o cooperatives: food processing, development projects
o Farmers Union: production 
o Youth people: to have knowledge and skills, source income,improve scio-economic stutus.
o Rural household: improve income and livelihoods standard  
o School Students (boys and girls), Vocational school: extra curricula activities, Garden & Landscaping.
o Students and their families: orientation of students preparing for agro-enterprises, raising awareness, successful producer.
o Local community: Reaching the poorest to required new knowledge, skills and technology, generating income, reducing poverty improve live hood, successful producer.
o Administration staff teachers, Directors: extra curricula activities, raising awareness.

participatory approach participatory approach method used by NCARE extension services with local communities in Jordan
participatory approach participatory approach method used by NCARE extension services with local communities in Jordan
participatory approach participatory approach method used by NCARE extension services with local communities in Jordan

This initiative performed and planned by: 
o Eng. Kamal Rahahleh, B.Sc Plant production, Project Director, Extension department at  NCARE
o Eng. Yousra Suleiman, B.Sc Plant production, Project coordinator, Extension department at  NCARE

Associated Project staff in the field consist of the following:
• NCARE Field extension agents (60 ) for Implementation and follow-up
• Researchers Provide technical assistance and consulting in some specialized topics
• Pioneer Farmers
• Schools staff: teachers ( male & female)
• Council parents and families of students members of the local community
• Seasonal labor to assist in the implementation of some activities of field

Human resources Human resources ( extension agents ) involved in extension training programs in many areas of Jordan
Human resources Human resources ( extension agents ) involved in extension training programs in many areas of Jordan
Human resources Human resources ( extension agents ) involved in extension training programs in many areas of Jordan

The mentality of farmers is the biggest obstacle facing the agricultural extension and the process of change is very difficult, therefore using learning and teaching methods and implementation field demonstrations and activities with pioneer farmers (farmer to farmer extension) are effective way to overcome this problem.
There are other kind of difficulties:
- Lack of fund to purchase extension, education tools
- Long and complicated administrative and bureaucratic procedures to provide raw materials and products pushing farmers to borrow from some agricultural suppliers with later payments, some Facilities and or demonstration sites have broken down mainly schools yards by abusers.
- Extension services in Jordan suffers from lack of extension agents number which is about 60 to cover whole country, the project aiming to share this mission with farmer to farmer extension.

- Raise environmental awareness, knowledge among all target groups and the community to become a daily behavior and approach of life which might lead to sustainability aspect, students will have this attitude in their minds and their behavior whether in their schools, homes, streets.  
- Reducing the use of pesticides ,fertilizers
- Reduce environmental pollution from such as re-use of gray water, urban cultivation 
-,Increase income and thus improve the health standards and life
- The transfer of experience to implement at the level of the family and provide extra income
- Contribute to social and behavior change towards a more positive and effective
- Dealing with farmers groups, cooperatives, schools as a tool Share ideas
- Using simple and inexpensive Farming techniques.
- They have achieved better labor productivity; they are now concerned about food safety and food security

Urban Agricultural practices Urban Agricultural practices and its positive environmental impact in cities

- Verification that extension moves toward a designing  extension  programs thorugh engaging farmers directly in setting extension priorities , identifying problems and providing proper and suitable soultions
- Striving to bring  attention given to the intensification and diversification of farming systems. Farmers to supply different high-value crops, livestock, and other products to markets, then they must organize into producer groups so they can jointly market their products. In the process, these emerging producer groups should play an increasingly important role in shaping extension priorities based on the needs of different categories of farmers within each service area
- Strengthen the human resource capacity of current extension staff, increase their technical, management, and marketing skills. Increase access to up-to-date technical and marketing information, then the information and communication technology capacity of most extension systems will need to be strengthened.

We have developed the following dissemination methodology as follows:
• Mass Media links with national T.V daily live program and Radio
• extension Massages in news papers
• Dissemination of brochures
• Dissemination of booklet
• conducting workshops and seminars
• In each year, NCARE condut a “Project presenation” among all  extension agents in order to share ideas and learned lessons for all implented projects. 
• conductingn grand ceremony in schools under patronage of  Director-General of NCARE and Director of Proviance Education attended senior officials and a large gathering of the local community and the families of students, and Providing them summery about the activities done and there was introduced play in front of a grand ceremony Make a play during which describes the objectives of the program and benefit it has been learned also provide of poetry clause shows the importance of belonging to the cultivation has been submitted the plastic house for the school as a gift

Open days presentations Raising awareness among the local communities for more sustain agricultural practices Urban Agricultural practices
Open days presentations Raising awareness among the local communities for more sustain agricultural practices Urban Agricultural practices