The Azem Project, funded by UNICEF, implemented the first Agroecology Business Park - an incubator for Youth in Madaba
The Azem Project provides economic support to create jobs and self-employment opportunities such as the recently launched Agroecology Business Park for the youth of Madaba governorate. The Business Development Center – BDC, the governorate of Madaba and Keys for Sustainable Development Company have signed a partnership agreement to jointly implement this incubator, targeting young graduates of Agricultural Engineering and job seekers, looking for opportunities to develop their pioneer projects in the modern hydroponic sector.
This initiative was developed to support young people in establishing their own business in an agricultural sector that carries promising self-employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in Jordan. To implement this initiative, Azem Project team is responsible to purchase and provide the necessary equipment and tools, to deliver technological and technical trainings specialized in Project Management and Social Entrepreneurship, and to supervise the project’s overall implementation. Madaba Governorate in turn has provided a piece of land for the incubator to be built, along with all water and electric utilities and infrastructure services necessary for the success and sustainability of the project. The technical partner Keys for Sustainable Development will support the agricultural entrepreneurs at the business park to commercialize their products through marketing platform and help the young entrepreneurs to secure profit return and fixed income. The agricultural incubator supports a variety of projects from vermicompost, hydroponics and fish farming, to planting cherry tomatoes, iceberg lettuce and aromatic and medical plants.
Ghaleb Hijazi, General Manager of the BDC stated that: “this initiative is a pioneer experiment for a new model of productive eco-business park that could be exported to other governorates and create income opportunities for youth who are looking for a job”, as he stressed on the central role that supporting entrepreneurial projects plays in developing the economy and providing job opportunities. In addition, he indicated that the nature of this innovative project seeks to foster youth interest in the agricultural sector by capitalizing on their potential and supporting them to practice such professions. Further, he explained how this project is aligned with the strategic plans of the Government of Jordan to stimulate the Jordanian economy and support investments in the agricultural sector, as “thanks to the financial support of UNICEF, the Azem project for entrepreneurship will create 6 opportunities for self-employment and 4 additional job opportunities for young graduates of Agricultural Engineering.”
Ahmad Barakat Al-Zuhair, President of the Greater Madaba Municipality Committee explained that: “The municipality will be a true supporter of this initiative’s success, as such projects will reflect positively on the income of all the participants’ families, under the guidance of HM King Abdullah II – may God bless him – who always guides and supports the qualification and integration of youth in the labor market, that our companies both from the public and private sector are working towards.”
Thabit Al-Nabulsi, Founder of Keys for Sustainable Development, explained that: “The Agroecology Business Park project is a ground-breaking project that came to light through the partnership with the Greater Madaba Municipality and the Business Development Center – BDC. This project aims to train the newly graduated agricultural engineers and to raise local communities’ awareness about including women in the labor market through aquaculture for the purpose of water saving, soil melioration and aromatic plants. The program supports the qualification of young women and men to enter the labor market, in addition to conducting awareness workshops for farmers from local community.
As part of the “Azem Project”, implemented by the Business Development Center – BDC, Keys for Sustainable Development and the Greater Madaba municipality, we seek to make this Agroecology Business Park educational and environment-friendly, benefiting all segments of the society and providing technical assistance to the pioneers in commercializing their products through our marketing platforms at Keys for Sustainable Development.”
Randa Ebaidiah, one of the beneficiaries of this project who graduated from Agricultural Engineering and was seeking for a job opportunity, stated that: “This project has fulfilled my ambition in founding my own project. It will help me find a job opportunity and provide me with a fixed income.”
Mohammad Kareem Hussien, another beneficiary of this project who also graduated from Agricultural Engineering has expressed his gratitude and appreciation for giving him and his colleagues such an opportunity to be pioneers in this sector through establishing ground-breaking agricultural projects which provided them with job opportunities.