Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Operation Mercy Jordan begins AC4D Consultations with Regional Agricultural Experts and the Farming Community to Determine Constraints and Opportunities in Northwest Jordan

Surveying Farmers (This picture was taken in the Nile Delta when working with ICARDA, farmer surveying in Jordan for OpMercy will begin within the coming weeks.)
The Agricultural Cooperation for Development (AC4D) concept has recently been adopted for immediate implementation by Operation Mercy's headquarters in Sweden with the parallel goals of improving yields and reducing vulnerability through training and equipping farmers for excellence in water management.  The effects of success in this area will be; poverty reduction, increased yields, higher smallholder farmer income, reduced incidence of malnutrition and increased on farm environmental and economic sustainability. 

Brian Howard was selected in early October as the country wide Agricultural Projects Manager and will be leading Operation Mercy's agricultural development efforts in Jordan.  He received his Masters in Water Management and Hydrology from Texas A&M University in the fall of 2010 and has been consulting with the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) in Jordan and Egypt in conjunction with the Water and Livelihoods Initiative (WLI) and CRP1.1 - Dryland Systems.  

Op Mercy's AC4D program seeks to bridge the knowledge gap between the agricultural research community and smallholder farmers for whom best management practices and up to date agricultural technologies and methodologies for soil and water management are largely inaccessible.  We hypothesize a 5 step program management plan (below) that incorporates input from a broad set of stakeholders from the agricultural research for development community, national research and extension agencies and the farming community.  As Jordan continues to undergoe significant changes in the coming years in the volume, price and quality of agricultural water AC4D will be a resource for smallholder farmers to equip them to successfully and sustainably adjust to a dynamic agricultural environment.