Holland Horti Support Jordan

Advance Consulting led this horticulture project in Jordan in collaboration with Wageningen University and the Dutch government, improving the competitiveness of Jordan farmers.

Together with 72 lead farmers we piloted and demonstrated 10 horticultural innovations for 512 scaling farmers to increase their profitability, reduce water use, and improve crop quality


2019 – 2022

€ 1,8 million

In 2018 the future of the Jordan horticulture sector was at risk. As a result of ongoing conflicts in the region, borders were closed, making it impossible for traders to travel by road. Farmers faced stricter regulations for pesticide levels but did not know how to reduce their pesticide use without harvest loss. Prices were under pressure; margins were low; farmers were in debt. Farmers did not have the knowledge nor the resources to change their farming and business practices from survival mode towards resilience

The 2018 report commissioned by the Dutch government (“Horticulture in Jordan: a sector in danger”) showed that the Jordan horticulture sector would benefit most from a practical, accessible approach that prioritises the basics of good farming: from the starting materials such as seeds, water, and fertilizers, to cultivation practices like fertigation, crop protection and post-harvest. Innovations should be easy-to-use, low-tech, and affordable. Advance Consulting was requested to lead the pilot project Holland Horti Support Jordan because of its hands-on mindset and private sector expertise.

The project design – initially export focused rather than production focused – had to be revisited very soon. There was hardly any export possible, and distrust in the sector impeded information exchange. Advance needed to go back to basic: improve production, be in the field with the farmer, build a network and create trust. We developed 10 agricultural innovations that responded to SME farmers’ real needs and help them increase crops quality and productivity and at the same time reduce use of water and pesticides.

We are proud to have delivered concrete results: 
• 10 seasonal pilot types with a business case 
• 72 pilot farmers who cooperated throughout the project 
• 124 separate on-farm pilots 
• 512 scaling farmers who attended trainings and demonstrations, both online and offline 
• 2 smartphone applications that support farmers to make better decisions on crop protection practices 
• First-ever public-private dialogue on the SME horticulture sector in Jordan resulting in a Whitepaper.

• Training of Trainers package for everyone available. A group of 25 extensionists of the Ministry of Agriculture of Jordan have been trained on didactical skills and farming as a business

Building on the lessons, pitfalls, and networks from Holland Horti Support, we developed a follow-up project to not only scale the piloted solutions but also strengthen them: by prioritising climate awareness and local ownership from the start. Holland Horti Support II (2023 – 2027) is ready to support the transition towards a thriving horticulture sector in Jordan.

“I had never heard of using an air blower for pollination before. A friend showed me a video and I immediately thought it was interesting. Mujeb is an organic farm and we don’t use any chemicals to make our plants grow. A blower helps pollination in an almost natural way. It is a low-tech, low-cost tool and easy to use by our workers. The tomatoes turned out firm and tasty
At Mujeb (which means ‘positive’) we prioritise flavour over yield. Food is incredible. It brings people together, it gives joy. For me, the challenge is to farm fully circular. Using manure from our chickens, reintroduce old tree species to feed the soil.”

– Zeina Fakhreldin, manager of Mujeb Organic Farm
As a pilot farmer in Holland Horti Support Jordan, Zeina Fakhreldin tested the air blower, trellising hooks and integrated pest management on her farm.