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Farmers call for smart irrigation systems to combat drought

AMMAN — Smart water irrigation systems are needed to confront growing drought risks facing the local agriculture sector, according to Jordanian farmers.

“Farming in Jordan has always been a challenge. And we have always struggled with unexpected hardships,” Nawash Al Yazjeen, a farmer from the Jordan Valley, told The Jordan Times in a call on Monday.

Reflecting on the realities faced by farmers now, Yazjeen said that amid inflation and soaring prices, farmers are not obtaining higher returns, noting that the surge in the cost of fertiliser as well as other input costs has negatively affected the industry.

Yazjeen noted that this year, he has tried to grow plants that help with maintaining soil fertility and drought resistance as rising temperatures continue to dry out the soil.

Samer Khalil Abdullah, like many farmers in the Jordan Valley, started planting fewer crops as he cannot afford the input costs of farming. 

He added that in order to increase farm profitability and fight drought, advanced machinery and smart irrigation systems are necessary.

“Nowadays, drought is increasingly frequent, and real action is required in order to maintain the local agricultural sector,” said Abdullah, who noted that for a couple of months now, he has been struggling with water scarcity which has made his situation even more difficult.