A few introductory words from our new colleague - Cedric van Oene
أهلاً وسهلاً - ahlan wa sahlan
These often used Arabic words of welcome are loosely translated as "may you arrive as part of the family and tread an easy path as you enter".
My name is Cedric and I recently started as a new colleague at Advance Consulting. Two years ago I landed in Jordan with the intention to merely stay for the duration of the assignment, one year. In my previous function as seconded trade policy officer, I supported the Jordanian Ministry of Industry, Trade & Supply with implementing an EU-Jordan agreement that aims to create jobs for Jordanians and Syrians through increased export. Together with my Jordanian colleagues, I created deliverables such as the ‘Export Guide to the EU’ for Jordanian SMEs and export workshops for public and private sector representatives. After this year, I worked as trade officer at the Netherlands Embassy in Amman, being the main focal point for Dutch-Jordanian business interests.
The appreciation that I gained for Jordan's culture, its stunning landscapes and amazing food ensured that I wanted to remain there for a longer period of time. After two years I, therefore, consider myself very fortunate to be able to continue working for the benefit of one of Jordan's vital economic sectors, horticulture, and the many people that are dependent on it.
The upcoming two years I will be the implementing coordinator for our newest project 'Inclusive Horticulture Value Chains' in Jordan. This pilot project aims to introduce market-oriented, cost-effective solutions for Jordanian farmers. In short, this means more and higher quality crops for less water, reducing pesticides and aiming for export. Considering the water scarcity in Jordan and the resulting impact of the Syrian war, such as closed borders and overproduction in the local market, I am enthusiastic about this initiative. A consortium of Advance Consulting, Wageningen University, Profyta and Holland Door will pool their resources to make this project a success.
My first two weeks in this role kicked off in the Netherlands with introductions to our consortium partners and getting to know my colleagues at the head office in Ede. I hope to learn much about agribusiness and I look forward to returning to Jordan next week to start working on creating durable, cost-effective solutions for its farmers.
If you have any questions about the pilot project 'Inclusive Horticulture Value Chains' feel free to Cedric.