The Regional Center on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development for the Near East (CARDNE) was launched following a 1983 FAO-sponsored meeting of representatives and observers from 18 Near Eastern states, also attended by observers from the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Program. The agreement to establish CARDNE came into effect in 1987 following its ratification by six countries. CARDNE’s current Member States are: Jordan, Tunisia, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen, and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. All states in the Near East region are eligible to join the Center after ratifying the Instrument of Accession and forwarding it to the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO-Rome).Hosted by the government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, CARDNE is an autonomous intergovernmental organization that is governed by a Council consisting of all Member States, which meets once every two years. An Executive Committee of five member states oversees activities, and meets at least once a year. The Director General is the legal representative of the Center.The Center has signed collaboration agreements with many organizations such as: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (F.A.O) / Rome; Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. (ESCWA) / Beirut; the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) / Aleppo-Syria; the International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM)/Paris; the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD) / Khartoum; the Arab Center for the Studies of Arid Areas and Dry Lands (ACSAAD)/Damascus-Syria; Queen Zein Al Sharaf Institute for Development (ZENID) (Jordan); Development and Employment Fund (DEF) /(Jordan); and the Inter-Islamic Network on water Resource Development and Management (INWARDAM).CARDNE provides its Member States with a broad range of services related to agricultural and pastoral communities in rural regions. Through a network of designated national centers in Member States, it works toward the achievement of the following objectives:
- To assist national action, and stimulate and promote regional cooperation relating to agrarian reform and rural development.
- To improve the production, income, and living conditions of small-scale farmers, pastoral nomads, and other disadvantaged rural groups.
- To integrate rural people in the development process; and to promote their involvement in the social, economic and cultural life of their communities.
The Center works toward achieving its objectives through a variety of activities, which are always based on participatory methods that draw on the expertise and experience of local communities. These include: Conducting and promoting research and studies on various aspects of agrarian reform and rural development; holding consultative conferences that allow officials, researchers, planners, executives and local community representatives to exchange ideas and experiences; organizing regional and national training courses and workshops on the planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of programs and projects; providing consultative expertise, technical support, and liaison services to national centers and other relevant organizations; and serving as a clearing house and data bank for information on agrarian reform and rural development.In 2003, CARDNE worked toward achieving its objectives by carrying out an intensive program of activities. These included seven national and two regional workshops, five training activities, two consultation services, three study tours and three studies. Additionally, CARDNE’s Director and staff held a series of consultative and coordination meetings with high officials of a number of authorities and organizations. They also participated in a seven workshops and seminars organized by various bodies. A detailed description follows.
Governing Council and Executive Committee
Governing Council: New representatives have been nominated to the Governing Council by their respective countries, as follows:
- Jordan: Dr. Hmoud Oleimat, Secretary General of the Ministry of Social Development.
- Sudan: Mr. Ali Al-Khalil, Director of International Cooperation at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
- Lebanon: Eng. Louis Lahoud, General director of the Ministry of Agriculture.
- Mauritania: Mr. AL-Sheikh wild Seedi Mohammad.
- The Governing Council held its Eighth Ordinary Meeting on 20 October 2003 in the presence of the representatives of the nine Member States. The following decisions were taken:
- The Council unanimously elected Mr. Mohammad Al-Gharbi (Tunisia) Chairman of the Council, Eng. Louis Lahoud (Lebanon) Vice-Chairman, and Dr Hazem Al-Sammera’y (Iraq) Rapporteur.
- The Council elected Egypt, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen for membership in the Executive Committee. Jordan, as host country, remains a permanent member.
- The Council ratified the Memorandum of Understanding which CARDNE signed with the Intra-Islamic Network on Water Resource Development and Management / Islamic Conference Organization.
- The Council approved the 2004/2005-work plan and budget.
- The Council decided to appoint the Jordanian Accounting Department as external auditor for the fiscal period 2004/2005.
- The Council decided to accept the kind invitation extended by Eng. Louis Lahoud, Lebanon Representative, to hold the ninth Ordinary Session/ 2005 in Beirut- Lebanon.
- Based on Article (5), Para. (u) Of the agreement to establish the Center, the Governing Council decided to establish an institute specializing in development studies, research and training related to building institutional capacities. This institute shall be called Institute for Studies and Institutional Capacity Building, and shall be based in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Executive Committee: The Executive Committee held its 19th Ordinary Meeting on 19th October 2003. Items on the agenda included the external auditor’s report, the new organizational structure of the Center and the financial report. The Committee presented its recommendations to the Governing council, among which was the plan of action for the years 2004-2005.The Twentieth Ordinary Meeting of the Executive Committee was held on 20thOctober 2003. Prof. Dr. Mohammad Salam (Egypt) was elected Chairman of the Committee, Eng. Abdulhafeez Qarhash (Yemen) its Vice-Chairman and Dr. Hmoud Oleimat (Jordan) Rapporteur. Mr. Mohammad Al-Gharbi (Tunisia) and Dr. Hazem Al-Samman (Syria) were elected members.
Official Meetings and Visits
A series of coordination meetings were held in 2003, among which were the following:
- The Center’s Director met with officials from ESCWA’s Social Affairs Department, in Beirut on 30th January 2003 to discuss areas of future cooperation as per the Memorandum of understanding signed by ESCWA and CARDNE. Discussions revolved around various topics of mutual interest such as the Draft Project for the Building of Capacities through Training of Men and Women in Yemen; the second phase of the project for the Training of Personnel Involved in Local Development; CARDNE’s participation in the International Conference on Promoting the Concept of Local Development in the Arab Region to be organized by ESCWA in July 2003; the work plan to be presented by CARDNE for the implementation of some vocational training activities and the project for “ Activating Women Societies in Saudi Arabia”; and the possibility of requesting technical services for the projects ESCWA is implementing in cooperation with UNDP/Jordan.
- During his visit to Jordan in January 2003, Mr. Abdul Hameed Abdouli, Portfolio Manager at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (I.F.A.D- Rome), visited the Center and met with its Director and the Director of International Cooperation/ Coordinator of the Technical Assistance Grant Project which the fund provided the Center. The outcomes of the first year of the project were discussed; and the activities for the following year were agreed upon by the two parties.
- CARDNE Director and gender specialists received the Regional Director for Rural Women’s Affairs at F.A.O/RNE. Discussions revolved around areas of cooperation between the two parties especially with regard to gender issues and the integration of rural women in development.
- The Center, in January 2003, hosted a meeting of representatives of Jordanian institutions that participated in the Micro Finance Conference held in Brussels in January 2002 in cooperation with SIFRA. The participants discussed means to benefit from this network in the service of local communities in the kingdom.
- His Excellency the Lebanese Minister of Agriculture received CARDNE Director in his office in March 2003. The two parties discussed possible areas of cooperation between the Ministry and the Center, especially the technical assistance the Center provides to the agricultural project management units.
- CARDNE Director received in his office, in June 2003, the Director General of the Egyptian Institute for Agricultural Extension and Rural Development and the Director of the Technical Bureau for the Agricultural Services Project in East Delta. Discussions revolved around promotion of cooperation between the Center and the Institute, especially in relation to the “Rural Women Guide DIMITRA”, as well as the importance of benefiting from the experience of theTechnical Bureau for the Agricultural Services Project in East Delta in other of the Center’s Member States
- The Director of the International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) received in his office, in June 2003, CARDNE’s Director of International Cooperation and Director of Research and Studies. Parties agreed to increase cooperation in all areas of mutual interest, such as training, research and studies and study tours.
- His Excellency the Lebanese minister of Agriculture met in his office with CARDNE Director, in July 2003, to discuss areas of possible cooperation, especially in relation to the integration of the concept of gender and training of staff of the unit managing the Irrigation Sector Modernization Project in the use of logical approach in planning, evaluation and follow up (funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development.)
- CARDNE’s Director was received by His Excellency the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Jordan in August 2003. Discussions mainly touched on the importance of Saudi Arabia joining CARDNE as a Member State.
- The Assistant Representative of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (J.I.C.A) and the Program Coordinator of the Agency visited the Center in September 2003. They were received by the Assistant Director/ Director of Studies and Research and the Director of Training. Discussions revolved around the implementation of the program for planning human resources and building institutions in the agricultural sector to be implemented in the Palestinian National Authority over a period of five years.
- CARDNE Director received in his office the President of the National Federation of Professional Women in Jordan. Discussions revolved around possible areas of cooperation between the two bodies.
A total of nine workshops (i.e. 43% of the total activities) were organized or sponsored by CARDNE this year. Additionally, the Center either participated or commissioned a representative from Member States to attend seven seminars and workshops to which it had been invited.
Workshops Organized or Sponsored by CARDNE
- National Workshop on “Identifying the Axes for Developing the Curricula of the Third Grade of Vocational Secondary Schools – Agricultural, Veterinary, Agricultural Machines”, Syria, 18-19 February 2003. The workshop had numerous objectives, mainly to develop and modernize basic educational courses and update statistics and data included therein; develop environmental concepts in order to preserve resources for future generations; simplify and clarify information included in every subject matter in order to suit the levels of knowledge and skills of students at this level, etc.
- National Workshop on “ The Use of the Logical approach in Planning and Evaluating Projects”, Lebanon, 20-21 May 2003. This workshop, which was organized under the auspices of H.E. the Minster of Agriculture, falls in the context of the IFAD Technical Assistance Grant Project that aims to accelerate the performance of agricultural development projects funded by the International Fund in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. Its main objective was to introduce the concept of using the logical approach in planning and evaluating projects and the logical approach matrix at all project levels.
- National workshop on “Designing a Program and Drafting a Project Proposal”, Jordan, 13-17 July 2003. Seventeen participants attended this workshop, that was organized in cooperation with the ministry of Social Development and was inaugurated by H.E. the Minister. The objectives of the workshop included: introducing the life cycle of a project in relation to institutional criteria, estimation of needs and opportunities in a society, quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis, identification of priorities according to available resources and drafting of the project objectives.
- National Workshop on Integrated Management for Combating Agricultural pests, Lebanon, 23-24 July 2003. This workshop, which was organized in cooperation with the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture, was held under the auspices of the H.E the Minister and was attended by twenty-five agricultural engineers.
- Regional workshop on “Gender and Development”, Jordan, 24-26 August 2003. This workshop was held under the auspices of H.E. the Minister of Social Development, and was attended by nineteen participants from all Member States (excluding Iraq). Participants discussed the concept of gender and steps to integrate it in developmental programs. They also received training on analysis of gender-related issues in the various stages of the life cycle of a developmental program.
- A Workshop to discuss the study entitled “Estimation of Training Needs of Arid Areas Farmers: A Case Study Of Jordan” was carried out by CARDNE in cooperation with F.A.O. It was organized by the Center at the Directorate of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development.
- National Workshop on Quality Agricultural Extension Training, Egypt, 15 October 2003. Participating in this workshop was a number of directors, specialists and those responsible for agricultural extension training in various Egyptian bodies. Topics discusses included the trends of agricultural extension training, indicators of extension training capacities, as well as modules and tools of quality training.
- National Workshop on “The evaluation of Agricultural Reforms in Irrigated Regions to Ensure Production Improvement and Continuity”, Tunisia 9-10 October 2003. This workshop was organized by the Land and Agriculture Agency and was sponsored by CARDNE. Participating in it were heads and representatives of the agency’s regional directorates, as well as of its central administration, and a number of representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources. The workshop emphasized a number of important topics such as: agricultural reform legislation, achievements of agricultural reform projects, water and soil preservation projects and methods of designing integrated agricultural development projects.
- Mobile Regional Workshop for Middle Eastern Ladies, Jordan 7-11 December 2003. This workshop, which was attended by twenty-four ladies, was sponsored by the government of Denmark and organized in cooperation with the Regional Program for Agriculture in the Middle East. It aimed to introduce these ladies to the Jordan’s experience in women’s participation in agricultural development. Its program included field visits to various agricultural areas in Jordan; and discussions of national plans, programs and projects implemented by different countries in relation to integrating women in development, as well as women’s training needs.
Conferences and Workshops in which CARDNE Participated
- Training Workshop, organized by IFAD, on “Logical Framework and Evaluation of Results”, Italy, 9-13 June 2003. CARDNE’s Director of International Cooperation/ Coordinator of the Technical Assistance Grant Project represented the Center in this workshop.
- National Seminar to announce the work plan for the integration of gender concept in rural development, which was prepared the Ministry of Agriculture and FAO (Jordan, 14 July 2003). Her Royal Highness Princess Basma Bint Talal, who inaugurated the seminar, praised the efforts of CARDNE and FAO in Jordan toward the implementation of this national plan.
- International Seminar on “Enabling Women through Agricultural Cooperatives”, Tokyo, 20 July- 3 August 2003. CARDNE’s Director of Training represented the Center in this seminar which was sponsored by the Afro-Asian Organization for Rural Development (New Delhi) and organized by the Institute for the Development of Agricultural Cooperation in Asia (IDACA) to introduce participants to the Japanese experience in this area. Ten countries also presented working papers on their respective experiences in this field.
- Upon invitation from EUROMED program, one of CARDNE’s employees from the Training Directorate attended a training course that aimed to introduce youth exchange program and ways to integrate people from different cultures, origins and races (Barcelona, Spain, 14-22 September 2003).
- Mediterranean countries Conference on Adult Education (Malta 13-16 September 2003). CARDNE’s Director of Training represented the Center in this conference which was organized by the German International Cooperation Institute for Adult Education in cooperation with the University of Malta. The main points discussed in the conference included programs related to the preservation of intellectual heritage, modern literacy programs and project management. Participants were also introduced to the main programs that can be funded by the European Union.
- Regional Meeting to Discuss Regional Coordination in Institutional Reinforcement of Agricultural Information Management in Near Eastern and North African Countries. The Chairman of the Executive Committee represented CARDNE in this meeting which was held at the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas- ICARDA (Syria, 1-2 December 2003).
- Regional Workshop on Information and Telecommunication Systems Management (Egypt, 16-18 December 2003). The Chairman of the Executive committee represented the Center in this workshop that was held at the FAO Regional Offices in the Near East- Cairo.
Training Workshop on the “Use of the Latest Training and Educational Techniques” (Syria, 15-21 February 2003). This workshop, which was inaugurated by H.E. Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, was sponsored by CARDNE, and was organized in cooperation with the Directorate of Training and Qualification at the Syrian Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform. Participating in it was a number of teachers in agricultural institutes and agricultural secondary schools.
Training on the use of the logical approach in the planning and evaluation of agricultural projects and the integration of the gender concept therein. In the context of the Technical assistance Grant Agreement concluded by the Center and IFAD for 2003, two experts were commissioned by CARDNE to deliver a fourteen-day training course to officials in the Management Unit for the Al-Yarmouk Basin Development Project, which is being implemented by the Jordanian Ministry of Agriculture.
Training on the use of the logical approach in the planning and evaluation of agricultural projects and the integration of the gender concept therein. In the context of the Technical assistance Grant Agreement concluded by the Center and IFAD for 2003, two experts were commissioned by CARDNE to deliver a twelve-day training course to officials in the Management Unit of the Agricultural Development Project in the Coastal and Central Areas, which is implemented by the Syrian Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform.
CARDNE sponsored the participation of an employee of the Jordanian Ministry of Social development in a workshop organized in Jordan (23-27 February 2003) by Queen Zein Al Sharaf Institute for Development on ”Assessing Training Needs and Evaluating Training Impact”.
In the context of cooperation between the Center and UNDP/ Czech Republic, six specialists from Member States participated in a workshop entitled “Small and Medium Projects” organized by ECUCON in Prague (15 to 24 September 2003). Topics covered in the workshop included the role of small and medium projects in economic transformation, human resources management in light of economic transformation and integrated environmental management of small and medium projects.
Training Workshop on “Nursery Management and Regulation”. This workshop, which was held in Yemen, aimed to facilitate the exchange of experiences among participants from the private, cooperative and public sectors.
Upon the request of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, CARDNE commissioned a specialist in gender to carry out a consultancy mission to the Rural Development Project in Northern Kurdufan/ Sudan during the period 19 February- 2 March 2003.
Upon the request of F.A.O/ RN, CARDNE’s Director of Training, in her capacity as local consultant in the field of planning, evaluation, and follow up on the concept of gender, carried out a consultancy mission at the Gender Unit of the Jordanian Ministry of Agriculture.
- In the framework of cooperation between CARDNE and UNDP/ Czech Republic, two specialists from Egypt and Syria carried out a study tour, organized by EDUCON, on environmental engineering in agriculture. (Prague, 25 August to 3 September 2003).
- CARDNE organized a study tour for a number of decision makers in the Syrian Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Reform, the State Planning Authority and Aleppo Governorate (Egypt, 27 December 2003 to 1 January 2004). The objective of this study tour was to examine Egypt’s experience in small developmental projects. The program included meetings with high Egyptian officials, as well as visits to small agricultural projects in rural communities and major agricultural projects in Alexandria.
- In cooperation with the Islamic Bank for Development in Jeddah and the Jordanian and Tunisian ministries of agriculture, CARDNE organized a study tour in Tunisia for a number of employees of the Jordanian Ministry of Agriculture during the period from 14 to 21 October 2003. The study tour aimed to introduce participants to Tunisia’s experience in programs related to rural women and elimination of poverty. Its program included visits to agencies, federations, projects and departments concerned with agriculture, be it training or extension. Participants also visited the General Directorate for planning and human resources at the Ministry of Women and Family Affairs, and the Center for Women Research, Studies, Media and Information.
“Programs Designed to Develop Curricula of Vocational Agricultural Secondary Schools in Light of the Components of the Agricultural Development Strategy for 2001-2010”. This study was carried out by the Directorate of Training at the Syrian Ministry of Agriculture, by sponsorship of CARDNE.
“National Study on Extension Needs in Jordan”. CARDNE, in cooperation with F.A.O/ HQ’s- Rome, has carried out a study to identify training and extension needs of men and women living in selected desert areas in the northern and southern parts of Jordan.
“Economic and Social Basic Study of the Region Covered by Project for the Development of Agricultural Resources of AL-Yarmouk Basin”. This survey was carried out by CARDNE with a view to assess the areas of priority for the project, the needs of the local communities, and the availability of local resources and institutional capacities. It also aimed to identify the main social and economic characteristics of the targeted population.
CARDNE signed an agreement with the International Fund for Agricultural Development toward the incorporation of the concept of gender in projects funded by the IFAD in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. This shall be carried out through the managing units of the following projects:
Project for the Development of the Al-Yarmouk Basin/ Jordan
Project for Agricultural Development in the Coastal and Central Regions/ Syria.
Project for Developing and Modernizing the Irrigation Sector/ Lebanon.
CARDNE Activities in 2003 By Member State
 Workshops (43%), training (19%), consultancy services (10%), study tours (14%), studies (14%)
1 Two of the four Workshops organized by CARDNE in Jordan were at the regional level, and were attended. by participants from various Member States.
2CARDNE sponsored the participation of six Member States nationals in a workshop entitled “Small and Medium Projects” organized by EDUCON in Prague.