© Alaa Alsaqarat

Strengthening Jordanian and Syrian small-scale farmers

© Alaa Alsaqarat

Climate change, youth unemployment and refugees from Syria pose major challenges for Jordan. Helvetas supports the population — both local people and refugees — to generate a secure income in climate-adapted agriculture. 

  • Project Name
    20D4C - 20 durums for change
  • Project Phase
    2023 to 2026
  • Funding
    Agence Française de Développement
  • Thematic focus
    Skills, Jobs and Income
    WASH Services
    Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Ensuring that small-scale farmers have enough to live on 

Jordan has a thriving tourism sector and a strong currency, yet the country faces a few major challenges. Climate change is drying out fields, and water to irrigate fields is scarce. Around 40 percent of all young people are unemployed, but few see any prospects in agriculture. In addition, around 675,000 Syrian refugees are currently registered in Jordan (as of 2022). The Coronavirus crisis also increased hunger in the country, leading people to work in precarious jobs. 

The project’s goal is for small-scale farmers — Jordanians as well as Syrian refugees — to be able to sustainably generate enough income to meet their needs. For the latter in particular, agriculture is one of the few ways they can work legally, for example as seasonal workers or day laborers. 

Climate-adapted agriculture and market access 

To improve the agricultural sector in Jordan, Helvetas works with several organizations that address different aspects of the project, including legal issues and concerns about the children of agricultural workers. Helvetas' role in this intervention is to promote climate-adapted agriculture and to enable farmers to access the market.

At the public market in Jordan's capital Amman. © KEYSTONE/AFP/KHALIL MAZRAAWI

Winning over young people with innovations 

Thanks to training, smallholder farmers can increase their harvests and diversify and adapt their livestock and vegetable supply — important measures to counter the effects of climate change. These new farming methods should also attract young people to agriculture — and they do. 

Helvetas also ensures that the products actually find buyers. To do this, it brings farmers together with end consumers and encourages farmers to form groups for bulk purchases.  

The project, which is mandated by the Agence Française de Développement, is currently being implemented in two regions of the country, Irbit and Mafraq, in northern Jordan on the border with Syria. Around 800 people are expected to benefit directly, with Helvetas targeting mainly women. 

Nation Station farmers’ market in Beirut, Lebanon | © Dalia Khamissy

Markt der Hoffnung

Der Libanon ist auf importierte und teure Nahrungsmittel angewiesen. Dank Helvetas stellen immer mehr Bauernbetriebe auf nachhaltige Landwirtschaft um. Jetzt Reportage lesen.

Food & Nutrition

Helvetas works to combat the world’s hunger problem by connecting disadvantaged women and men to stable supplies of affordable, nutritious and healthy food.

WASH Services

Helvetas helps vulnerable populations build resilience and prepare for climate change by securing access to safe water and a stable supply of nutritious food.