Jordan, a water-poor country that is 90% desert, has launched a project to turn its sand dunes into farming land to produce food using sun and sea water.
King Abdullah II and Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon recently attended a ceremony to mark the official opening of the “Sahara Forest Project” near the southern port city of Aqaba.
In the first stage, the project aims to produce up to 130 tonnes of organic vegetables per year from an area the size of four football pitches.
It will use solar panels to provide power and include outdoor planting space, two saltwater-cooled greenhouses, a water desalination unit and salt ponds for salt production.
The project, whose funders include Norway and the European Union, is to be expanded from three hectares to around 200 hectares of desert.