Meet Jordan’s agri-tech entrepreneurs reducing farmers’ water consumption
In the arid lands of Jordan, where water scarcity looms large and climate change has taken its toll , a transformative challenge was accepted by two visionary engineers, Salma Amayri and Mohammed Zainati. Founded in 2020, Smart Green harnesses the power of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to develop intelligent systems which help farmers to reach the optimum use of water and fertilisers. It functions by delivering a timely and precise amount of water and nutrients to crops, through the remote control of the farms’ irrigation system, saving up to 70% of their current water consumption.
Jordan ranks among the world’s most water-scarce nations, with as little as 61 cubic metres of water per person annually. Despite this scarcity, the agricultural sector consumes 51% of the country’s freshwater resources, putting substantial strain on the Kingdom’s water supplies.
Recent years have witnessed rising temperatures due to global warming, further exacerbating the challenges faced by farmers. “The conditions are becoming increasingly arid. Temperatures continue to soar, and rainfall has diminished,” said Eng. Salma Amayri, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Smart Green for AgriTech Solutions.
Moreover, Jordan’s mountainous environment creates high costs for land reclamation and cultivation. Farmers can not rely solely on manual labour for irrigation, monitoring or fertilising as it requires significant effort, time and financial resources. “We cannot keep farming by using the methods of our ancestors because it means working without knowledge and technology,” said Eng. Ahmad Al-Tarawneh, a farm owner in the northern city of Jerash.
The development of Smart Green took a significant leap forward when they participated in the Startup Roadshow 3 competition by Jusoor and SPARK, which was part of the Economic Resilience through COVID-19 programme, financed by the Qatar Fund for Development. Through the Roadshow, Smart Green received logistical support, mentors, and trainers who nurtured their growth, enabling them to develop their systems and expand their reach across the Middle East and North Africa region.
Today, after three years of dedication, Smart Green’s range of systems has blossomed and transformed the agricultural sector from traditional to digital, using new technologies including artificial intelligence. Through their systems water consumption has been reduced by up to 70% in closed systems, energy and fertiliser usage has been optimised, and productivity has improved. The Smart Green family has grown from two individuals to a core team of 10, offering job opportunities and contributing to Jordan’s agribusiness landscape.
Salma views this journey as much more than just entrepreneurship; it represents a crucial step towards environmental sustainability and promises a brighter future for the upcoming generations. She passionately declares, “Through green entrepreneurship, Smart Green is crafting a legacy of resource preservation, better water management and flourishing agriculture, making Jordan greener, healthier, and more sustainable.”