Jordan Badia Research and Development Centre (BRDC) – Applied Research

  Applied Research


  • Azraq Oasis restoration
  • New Techniques in the Manufacture of Jameed
  • Tal Rimah: Community Based- Rangeland Rehabilitation Project
  • Onion Planting Project (OPP)
  • Rangeland Plant Species in the Arid Areas (Germplasm Project)
  • Dairy Factory Project
  • Flow monitoring and soil-water applications of Marab Hassan
  • Targeted villages cluster
  • Technical Cooperation Project
  • Badia Centre for Ecological Education
  • Dier al-kahef farm project for camels and sheep
  • Water Harvesting and Rabbits Farm Project

    Azraq Oasis restorationGoal and objectives:

       The project is to develop practical DSS tools to capture environmental flows (water regime) around the Azraq Oasis, taking into account the need to restore (partially) the RAMSAR wetland and abstraction of ground water for drinking water of Amman and agricultural and domestic water use in the Oasis area.

    To achieve this goal, the following objectives will be fulfilled:

    • Review national and international best practice and information requirements for the establishment of a set of objective variables for appropriate DSS,
    • Review available literature techniques and models that were applied in similar environments for developing DSS model(s).
    • Obtain necessary data (spatial data set and variables)
    • Capture, store, retrieve, analyze and display diverse spatial geographic data which is normally referenced to maps within the Geographic Information System (GIS).
    • Develop a mechanism of participation with involved bodies (partners) in this project
    • Develop an objective friendly- user model combining all variables and criteria that will assist in taking decisions on the best alternatives that insure the best possible use of surface and ground water resources in an integrated manner in order to achieve sustainable watershed development

    Expected output:

    1. Full information system including, water, environmental, social and economic information and data
    2. A practical and user friendly DSS
    3. Simple manual on how to use the DSS. Therefore several, scenarios (supported by systemic tools) of using groundwater will be produced for:
      • Restoration of the Ramsar wetland site
      • Drink water supply of Amman City
      • Irrigation and local drink water supply in the Oasis area.
    4. Contribute to the economic status of the local community.

    To achieve these outputs, the following are needed:

    • Develop the data base for the data and analysis collected through the studies mentioned above
    • Develop the conceptual framework for the DSS using the participation framework
    • Verify various alternatives proposed by Stakeholders
    • Verify the social, economic and environmental indicators defined earlier
    • Develop the source code for the DSS (quantifications, evaluations, etc.)
    • Develop the interface
    • Conduct a pilot test on the applicability of the DSS
    • Modify the design according to the pilot results
    • Develop full design of the DSS
    • Develop the manual
    • Organize training sessions for the decision makersReturn to top


      New Techniques in the Manufacture of JameedProject: January 2009- January 2011

         Jameed is a sun dried, fermented, dairy product usually made from sheep’s milk. However, milk form other sources, especially goats and cows, can be used for its preparation. It is a popular food in Jordan, where it forms a major component of the family diet. The background information about the traditional method for the manufacture of Jameed indicates that Jameed is prepared under primitive conditions, and that the risk of contamination by spoilage organisms, soil, hair, and insect fragments from the air is high. There is a need, therefore, to control the fermentation and drying methods in order to produce a more uniform and acceptable product.

         Heat treatment, pasteurization, addition of starter and controlled incubation were used in the preparation of Jameed. Also convection solar dryer was used for drying Jameed balls formed from concentrated butter milk. The dryer proved suitable and protected Jameed form discoloration and contamination. The local community will be trained in the new techniques to produce Jameed with good quality.

      Funded by:

      -King Abdullah II Fund for Development KAFD, 11805 JD


      • Jordan University of Science and Technology
      • Jordan Badia Research and Development Centre


      1. Use new techniques to manufacture jameed.
      2. Improve the quality of jameed.
      3. Train local community on new techniques.
      4. Contribute to the economic status of the local community.

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      Tal Rimah:Community Based- Rangeland Rehabilitation ProjectBadia Rageland

        The Badia region has an average annual rainfall of less than 200 mm. Despite its aridity, Jordan’s Badia makes two vital contributions to the life and economy of the Kingdom:

      1. Badia rangelands provide a significant portion of the domestically produced forage which sustains the range livestock industry. The sale of livestock and livestock products supports an important sector of the economy and enables many rural communities to maintain a valuable and traditional way of life.
      2. Rangeland watersheds receive the rainfall, yielding surface water and replenishing ground water, throughout the region east and south of the western Jordan highlands.Badia watersheds must be considered as an essential part of Jordan’s national water conservation strategy.

      Problem Identification

        One of the biggest problems in enlisting community involvement in confronting overgrazing is that few villagers and pastoralists in Jordan believe that their livestock are the cause of the problem (Blench 1995, Al-Sirhan 1998, Blench and Sommer 1999). The feasibility of introducing improved land utilization practices depends on the knowledge of the livestock herders and their attitudes toward changing aspects of their methods of pastoralism, which Hamadeh (2002) recommended be delivered to them by an efficient extension system.

        Local communities’ knowledge may be inadequate in the presence of extremely rapid technical change since farmers may not have enough experience with a new technology to understand all of its dimensions. Even further along the continuum, the farmer and scientist jointly design, manage, and analyze the experiments and field trials.

        The project concentrated on the idea of rehabilitation of rangelands by introducing simple and inexpensive techniques. Therefore, with taking the local community’s needs in mind, water harvesting techniques were suggested and discussed with experts and the targeted group, working together.

      Tal Rimah Demonstration Site

        Tal Rimah area is situated northwest of Safawi (Badia Area; N32°17’211 “E36°53’916“) and about 70 km east of Al-Mafraq city. One demonstration site has been made available to the BRDC for the Tal Rimah range project. About 50 hectares, situated northeast of the village of Tal Rimah has been selected for demonstration of water harvesting techniques and forage shrub establishment. It is referred to as “Tal Rimah Shrub Reserve.”

      Project Objectives:

        The broad framework of this project aims to enhance the awareness of the Badia people of the importance of rangeland management to the production of livestock while At the same time allow the BRDC, and its supporting associates, to work hand in hand with local communities to demonstrate how excelling range management practices can be of direct benefit to the Badia people and the resources on which they depend.

      The potential long-term benefits of this effort could be:

      • Improved socio-economic conditions for livestock owners.
      • Enhanced local capacity to manage and preserve a productive ecosystem.
      • Increased biodiversity and stability of rangeland ecosystems.
      • Sustainable, productive use of the range resources.

      The Project detailed objectives are:

      1. Demonstrate the feasibility of establishing a forage shrub reserve under the prevailing soil and climatic conditions of the Tal Rimah area.
      2. Educate the livestock owners and range users of the Tal Rimah area of the importance and implementation of sustainable rangeland management.
      3. Demonstrate water harvesting and forage production techniques.
      4. Demonstrate livestock systems responses to the above.


      Rainfall, November 2002- March 2006:

        Since the 2002/2003 rainy season, the area has been in a drought. The 2005/2006 season rainfall was 50% below the rainfall average. This had a negative impact on natural vegetation cover

      Natural Vegetation Inside and Outside the Treatment Area:

        The results obtained from the botanical survey showed that in the first survey which was carried out before starting the project (2002/2003), there were only 21 plant species belonging to 12 different families. However, after 4 years of protection, there were 51 plant species belonging to 18 families recorded in the 2005-2006 vegetation surveys. In 2006, a new observation of two plant species,Crocus moabiticus and Iris aucheri, in the family of Iridaceae were recorded.

      During 2004 survey, the most abundant plant species were as follows: Schismus arabicus, Sisymbrium Spectulum, Aaronsohnia factorovskyi, Poa bulbosa, and Bromus damthonea. However, during 2005 survey the most abundant plant species were: Siedlitizia florida, Bromus damthonea, Schismus arabicus, Poa bulbosa, Hordeum glaucum steujel.While in the 2006 survey there was: Carx stenophylla, Bromus tectorum, Schismus arabicus, Hordeum glaucum steujel, Siedlitizia florida. In general it is clear that there are certain plant species that can be considered well adapted to the local climatic and soil conditions.

        Forage production from the natural herbaceous plants found in the project area ,during 2004 survey were, estimated as 75 kg/ha inside the reserve compared to 30 kg/ha outside the reserve (Table 1). These differences between inside and outside the shrub reserve show that grazing has an affect on these rangelands, and suggests what the potential is for range forage production under better grazing management.

      Table 1.

      Year Natural Forage Production(kg/ha)
      Inside Outside
      2004 75 30
      2005 27 3
      2006 16 3
      2007 11.8 0.6

      Adoption and Replicability of Methods Demonstrated

        Several people contacted the project team asking about the possibilities of replicating the same treatments elsewhere, and they showed interest in adopting the management practices. This means that the first test was successful, and people realize the benefits from such interventions.

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      Onion Planting Project (OPP)Project: October 2007- May 2008

         Planting three Onion varieties from New Mexico State University (NMSU) in Disi Basin soils (Sandy soils) in Mudawara village – Southern Badia of Jordan in order to test their success in this climate which is similar to New Mexico state regime, these varieties have been planted with cooperation from local pioneer farmer ( Sheikh Khalid) who is seeking to gain more experience and skills from productive and scientific agencies such as BRDC and NMSU.

      Funded by:

      -Jordan Badia Research and Development Centre

      -New Mexico State University


      • New Mexico State University
      • Jordan Badia Research and Development Centre


      1. The general objective of this project is to link US scientist with local farmers in the Badia. To achieve this aim, the following objectives should be achieved:
        • Test 3 Onion Varieties at different planting times.
        • Compare the 3 Varieties with local Varieties which the farmers usually plant.
        • Conduct several conference calls between the farmers, BRDC and NMSU in order to share experience and skills.

      Outputs as of 31/12/2007:

      • Designed the experiments layout
      • Planted 3 Varieties
      • Held several conference calls by using an Internet.
      • Sheikh Khalid, the cordinator in the BRDC, has visited NMSU in USA.

      Work Plan:

      • During 2008:
        1. Field measurements
        2. Marketing the product.
        3. Produce movie about this project which will be

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      Rangeland Plant Species in the Arid Areas (Germplasm Project)Project: September 2007- Septembar 2007

         The project is implemented by BRDC and NMSU. The project focuses on developing Badia germplasm through testing different plant species which survive in arid areas.

      Funded by:

      -USDA-Forest services, $40,000


      • USDA-Forest services
      • Jordan Badia Research and Development Centre


      1. Study different plant species which survive in the arid and semi-arid areas. The project will show if the range land rehabilitation can be through direct seeding.

      Outputs as of 31/12/2007:

      • Designed two experiment in the Tal Remah and Qurain range reserves.
      • Planted 15 plant species (US and local)

      Work Plan:

      • During 2008:
        1. Fence the Qurain site
        2. Monitoring and Evaluation
        3. Reporting
        4. Community outreach
      • During 2009:
        1. Identification of specific site new location in Qurain reserve.
        2. Rent for experimental land use if needed
        3. Preparing water harvesting for 4 plots
        4. Build fence around test plots- 2 ha total (0.5 ha water harvest seed, 0.5 ha control – seed in rows, 1 ha simulated aerial broadcast.
        5. Planting 3 species into the new location.
        6. Preliminary evaluation – germination

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      Dairy Factory ProjectProject components

      (1) Infrastructure: The infrastructure in position in the project area is good in terms of road network, water pipelines, power lines and telephone lines.

      (2) Training: training the local people for cheese making

      (3) Funding small enterprises: The lending project offers to fund local people who are unable to create their own small enterprises, (50000) JD was allotted to achieve this goal.

      (4) Dairy Factory: livestock is one of the main sources of income in the project area. Therefore, a feasibility study was done for a dairy factory in the area, with positive results. This factory is designed, in the first phase, to produce cheese from the livestock milk in the area. The capacity of the factory is about 2 tons of milk per day (could be raised to 4 tons of milk per day easily) which is used to produce 500 KGs of white cheese per day.

      Project Duration

        The project was initially proposed for three years from 1999-2002, but as funding fell short it was extended two more years. Moreover, an extra two year period was initially included for assessment purposes in order to produce an extensive manual including “lessons learned”. It is of vital importance to examine this proposed model to have a proper scientific documentation to publish the results for common use.


      • Ministry of planning
      • Jordan Badia Research and Development Centre
      • The Cooperation of Northeast Badia

      Results Achieved

        The number one achieved result is that the BRDC through the Tall Rimah project was able to get the community, normally divided by tribal boundaries, to work together.  The creation of the NGO, a unique experience in the Jordan Badia, was the first task and was met with skepticism and distrust.  Once that boundary was crossed and people began to see the benefit of working together, the NGO took off in creating a plan. Out of 356 small families are covered in this program, the co-op has about (40) members. Most of the members were dependent on farming livestock. The co-op extends loan for its members in the area of shops, forage & buying sheep.

      Flow monitoring and soil-water applications of Marab HassanObjectives:

      • Characterize rainfall- runoff measurements.
      • Measure soil moisture capacity and physical characteristics.
      • Identify Micro-organism communities to enhance Nitrogen and Carbon fixation.
      • Establish earth treatments for flood distribution, minimizing soil erosion.
      • Water storage the in soil profile for development purposes.
      • Increase soil moisture yield in order to increase land productivity.
      • Maximize runoff beneficiation

      Targeted villages cluster  The Anaqeed Al-Khair project targeted 14 villages for development. These villages were assimilated into one cluster, called the Northern Badia Villages cluster, and then grouped into four sub-clusters according to geographical distribution. The Northern Badia Villages cluster’s population is 7,800 individuals in 1,259 households.

        The Project is located in Ruwdat Ameer Ali with a total area of about eight hectares (80 dunum). This project aims to generate income for the local communities as well as demonstrating economical and environmental benefits to target population.

        Due to the project location and capacity, it also serves as centre training for all cluster village projects. In order to implement other proposed projects of Beekeeping and Honey Production, Free-Range Poultry for Egg Production, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Beit Sha’ar Manufacturing and Wool Manufacturing.


      1. Generate income for the local community based on profitable agriculture.
      2. Improve the Awassi sheep breed throughout the Badia.
      3. Local community training of new means of farming and increasing the levels of communication amongst farmers and specialists.
      4. Stimulate local economic activity.
      5. Introduce new forms of income generating projects within the target area (beekeeping, sun-dried tomatoes).
      6. Encourage Bedouin community to move towards organic farming (poultry, sun-dried tomato, etc).
      7. Preserve the handicrafts industry (Beit Sha’ar, wool products …etc).

      Project components:

      • Sheep selection farm: train livestock owners on new skill and techniques to maximize the productivity and benefit.
      • Bees keeping and honey production: medicinal and high quality honey produced from medicinal and wild badia plants
      • Bait al sh’ar and wool manufacturing: conserve the Bedouin tent and wool industry as traditional inheritage and produced to diverse income source.
      • Sun dried tomatos based on organic farming.
      • Forage production.

      Funded by:

      -Ministry of Planning.


      • Jordan Badia Research and Development Centre.
      • Jordan River Foundation.
      • Anaqaid Al- Khare cooperative society.


      • 13 permanent jobs were created and 300 temporary jobs every year.
      • Good awassi selection farm.
      • Medicinal honey.
      • Produce 2 ba’at sh’ar (Bedouin tent).

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      Technical Cooperation ProjectRestructuring the livestock health and production delivery system in rural Jordan TCP/JOR/ 2903

      Aims of the Project:

      • Improve socio-economic characteristic of the local community through achieving the following objectives:
        • Diverse and generate income for the CAHEWs
        • Improve the animal health services.
        • Maximize productivity of livestock in the Badia


      -FAO, the fund was 42000$


      • Badia Research and Development Centre.
      • CARE international.
      • Ministry of agriculture.


      • The project has been started at August 2003 and end in December 2004.
        • Project Area:
          1. Mafraq Governorate.
          2. Azraq area.

      Importance of project in the Badia Jordan:

      -Bedouin mobility.

      -Lack of transportation.

      -Limited government veterinary clinics in the Badia

      -Which often are located faraway from livestock owner.

      -Unavailable supply for medicine vaccine.

      Project output:

      • Eight old CAHEWs were reviewed and refresh ( 9 were cannot be reached).
      • 15 new CAHEWs were trained.
      • The training cover the following topics:
        • Vaccination.
        • Parasitic control.
        • Common disease recognition and treatment.
        • Animal nutrition
        • New recording system produced for monitoring and evaluation CAHEWs activity.

      *Table summarize CAHEWs activity in their region:

      Area No. of vaccinated animal Money earned Period No. of CAHEWS
      Azraq 81150 4057.2 11 4
      N.B. 21879 10931 1 6
      Safawi 3590 179.2 1 2
      Mafraq 12660 633 1 6

      Current situation:

      The MoA is supervising the CAHEWs activity since the end of the project at Dec.2004.


      1. Delays in obtaining official certificate and approval from the MoA for CAHEWs.
      2. Weakness in cooperation between the CAHEWs and animal health assistants (AHAs).
      3. Lack of awareness about animal health.
      4. Legislation: there is still some opposition to concept of CAHEWs being registered as private primary animal health service provider under veterinary supervision by some senior member of the veterinary directorate and the Jordan Veterinary Association.

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      Badia Centre for Ecological EducationAims of the Project:

    • Create awareness between school and university student as well as in the local community on the wildlife diversity and importance.
    • Improving local and foreign ecological tourism.
    • Contributing in the economic and social status of the local community.Funding:

      -Ministry of planning, 75.000 JD

      -International Arid Land Consortium 50.000JD.


      • Badia Research and Development Centre.


      • The project has been started in 2002 and still until now.
        • Project Area:
          1. The project serve village cluster for about 14 villages in the northern badia.

      Project Achievements:

      1. Finishing all the reconstruction work in the project.
      2. Design, prepare and grow the entire garden with plant.
      3. Prepare the outer and inner cages for putting the animals.
      4. Collect the animal and put them in the centre.
      5. Prepare ticket, labels, and brochure for the centre. Dier al-kahef farm project for camels and sheepProject components:
        1. Sheep farm: maximize sheep productivity by introducing new skills.
        2. Camels farm: conserve camels as traditional inheritage and diverse income source.
        3. Wool manufacturing: encourage local community for traditional industry

        Funded by:

        -Ministry of planning


        • BRDC
        • Dier al Kahef sons new cooperative society.


        • 5 permanent jobs were created and 20 seasonal jobs.
        • Conserve the traditional industry.
        • 300 sheep were bought

        This piece is taken from the website of the Jordan Badia Research and Development Centre (BRDC).

        See on-line at:



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