From Plant to Plate – The Netherlands serves as inspiration for horticulture trainers in Jordan

08 November 2021

The Netherlands has a lot of knowledge and innovation to offer in the field of horticulture. In September, a group of 21 master trainers paid a study visit to our country to gain knowledge and share insights about aquaponics, hyrdoponics, vegetable crops and fruit cultivation. This visit had the aim of further developing their own expertise, offering education to refugees and host communities in Jordan, and to build contacts with Dutch horticulture organizations.

The study visit was part of a project funded by the Netherlands as part of the Orange Knowledge Program managed by Nuffic. In this project, CINOP and Yuverta college support the Jordanian Agricultural Engineers Association in developing courses for refugees and Jordanians with the aim of improving their skills and employability and stimulating horticulture in the country.

It is a challenge to train a group of new refugees every day, each with their own experience and expertise, or sometimes no experience at all. For example, a dented fruit from incorrect harvesting can ruin an entire batch. That is why it is important to have a good training approach that takes into account the different skill levels.

During the study visit, the trainers visited various companies and educational institutions. From the most modern high-tech companies such as Tomatoworld, to the small-town farmer who combines his cultivation with other sources of income such as care or a local shop. They also became acquainted with family businesses that have conquered the world market over generations, such as de Jong and Salm Boskoop. But also the innovators, such as Duurzaam Kost in Eindhoven, who have built an aquaponics installation next to their restaurant where they use fish and vegetables from their own cultivation directly in the restaurant. This way they keep the chain as short as possible, from Fish to Fork and Plant to Plate.

In Jordan we have a lot of problems with water use and overuse of pesticides. In the Netherlands we saw techniques that contribute to a more sustainable approach. For example, we saw the importance of monitoring and deploying more diverse production, so that diseases cannot spread in a monoculture and less chemical control is needed.

Companies that, as in Jordan, employ refugees and migrants were also visited. How do you ensure that they are trained in a short time to perform work in all facets of horticulture? The visit therefore covered the entire value chain of cultivation in the Netherlands. From seedling, production, harvest, marketing, packaging, to shipping. Yuverta was also visited to translate this complex world into education. How do you ensure that horticulture is attractive to the future generation, how do you transfer practical skills in addition to theoretical knowledge, and how do you create a mindset in which sustainability is at its core?

Are you also curious about what CINOP can do for you to embed sustainable agriculture in your education? Contact us via info@cinop.nl or approach one of our experts!

Related updates from our projects in Jordan

Assisting in the development of relevant horticulture training for Syrian refugees, migrants and host communities

Strengthening the capacity of TVET staff to enhance curricula development in the Jordanian horticulture sector