LIVINGAGRO, second Business to Business Brokerage event on grazed woodlands in Jordan enhances encounter of innovation demand and offer by Mediterranean agroforestry stakeholders


On last March 15th, 2023, the National Agricultural Research Center (NARC), in collaboration with the Regional Forest Agency for Land and Environment of Sardinia (Fo.Re.S.T.A.S.) and the whole LIVINGAGRO Consortium, organized the second B2B event in Jordan on Grazed Woodlands (GW) at the Regency Palace in Amman. The event was aimed at presenting and discussing state-of-the-art innovations identified by the project in response to challenges which economic stakeholders of the Mediterranean agroforestry sector are facing, responding to needs such as increase of profitability, sustainability of production and biodiversity protection considering limited resources and environmental constraints.  

Experts and acclaimed speakers from Jordan, Italy and Greece met throughout the day and shared their experiences, addressing various issues with farmers, entrepreneurs, local administrators, researchers, private companies, policy makers and multiple stakeholders interested in agroforestry issues in Jordan, and stressing the importance of adopting the latest technologies and innovations to develop grazed woodland strategies based on the agroforestry approach.


The Objective of the initiative in brief

The aim of the brokerage event was to increase the connections between research and enterprises, governance, associations and citizens to close the gap between innovators in the field of agroforestry and end-users. Following the Open Innovation approach the multi-directional flow of knowledge and innovations among different types of stakeholders was enhanced, building on the relationships built through the cross-border Living Laboratories in the last four years.


The first part of the day

After the introducing and welcome remarks by Dr. Salam Ayoub, Director of Horticulture Research Directorate at NARC, and Dr. Maurizio Malloci, Director of Technical Service of FoReSTAS, Dr. Sara Maltoni, head of the Forestry Value Chains office at FoReSTAS, described the contribution of the LIVINGAGRO project for the development of agroforestry, with particular reference to the benefits of the Living Lab approach for open innovation. Dr. Salam Ayoub, then reported about the achievements of LIVINGAGRO activities in Jordan, with specific reference to the greenhouse rehabilitation for propagation of plant species for agroforestry projects, to the implementation of several field trials for intercropping and cover crops in multifunctional olive systems, and to the production of multimedia materials and publications on the topic in Jordan. Dr. Mauro Forteschi from FoReSTAS – Italy, extended an invitation to everyone involved with multifunctional olive systems (olive growing) and/or grazed woodlands to join the cross-border Living Laboratories by registering in the project’s ICT platform (, in order to explore innovations in agroforestry and access free online classes, newsletters, online discussion forums, and a wealth of other events and information sources.

The innovation pitches

The introductory remarks were followed by two sessions of innovation pitches, showcasing different ideas and categories of innovations (from social, to technical, to recovering and sharing of best practices).

Dr. Yahia Othman from the University of Jordan, discussed the benefits of consistent assessment of trees and soil health in Jordan and the implementation of sustainable agroforestry practices for the improvement of soil organic carbon, soil nutrients and soil microbial abundance and activity. 

Dr. Ahmad Al-Shraideh, chairman of the Environment Association for Human and Development – Jordan, presented the natural regeneration and wildlife conservation of Jordan’s Birqesh forests, and the importance of monitoring the progressive developments and the sustainability of the cultural heritage of wild plants, as tools to restore, balance and protect vital resources. Dr. Al-Shraideh proposed the establishment of a model reserve for wild, medicinal and aromatic plants to be used as an educational and touristic center within the framework of sustainable development of ecotourism in rural areas.

Dr. Khaled Abulaila, Director of Biodiversity at NARC – Jordan, defined the guidelines and best practices to avoid threats related to alien invasive species on forest ecosystems in Jordan, stressing that “compiling a list of Jordan’s alien plant species is the first practical prevention measure and a best practice to be designed to preclude the use of invasive taxa among alien plants in Jordan”.

Ms. Elham Al-Abaddi from Al-Balqa Innovation Institution – Jordan, described the ecosystem restoration in Arda District, Jordan, and its effects on the development of the grazed woodlands in the region, showcasing the innovation brought ahead by LIVINGAGRO project in the cooperation of NARC with local associations to restore agroforestry systems. 

Dr. Claudio Porqueddu, senior researcher at the Italian National Research Council (CNR), explained that the use of innovative legume-based mixtures aims at reducing inputs (fertilizers, fuels, chemical weeding) and increasing ecosystem services of grazed woodlands. Dr. Porqueddu detailed the benefits of implementing legume-based pastures, describing this procedure as an easier transition to the organic production regime with higher added value.

Dr. Antonello Franca, from the Italian National Research Council (CNR-ISPAAM), described the selection of shade tolerant species for under-sowing grazed woodlands to increase animal carrying capacity in Mediterranean climates. He highlighted the objectives of the European Agroforestry Project, mainly in assessing the adaptability and the factors responsible for a better adaptation of different legume-based pasture mixtures to shade, and also assessing the effects of isolated oak trees shading on soil seed bank and persistence of pasture species.

Professor Giuseppe Pulina from the University of Sassari - Italy, pointed out the purpose behind RangeSoft innovative ICT application to assess grazing carrying capacity in Mediterranean grazed woodlands. Prof. Pulina explained that the software makes it possible to optimize the use of grazing resources while safeguarding the pastoral value of sites without compromising animal performance, stating that the “optimal use of agroforestry resources is the key to sustainable agriculture and forestry”.  

Finally, Eng. Yahya Abu Sini from NARC – Jordan, introduced the Permaculture project which offers an appropriate approach for food production in agroforestry systems, explaining that “Permaculture integrates land, resources, people and the environment through mutually beneficial synergies”, aiming to achieve “resilient food security systems through extending permaculture design and technologies in the Jordan valley”.


Final open debate and outcomes

After a survey through the tool "Mentimeter" to encourage the participants to engage in the discussion, attendees participated in open discussions through a dedicated Q&As session with experts and representatives of the LIVINGAGRO consortium focusing on how to implement or further develop the innovations in their farms or research labs, and how to maintain the productivity of the system by using state-of-the-art scientific methods and innovations. All participants showed a great interest in the innovations proposed and posed questions relating to their field application in Jordan, debating on the critical points that may hinder their immediate adoption. The second B2B event in Jordan on Grazed Woodlands was concluded with a business match-making session, allowing stakeholders to get an in-depth, tailor-made conversation with experts.