PUNDUTSO AFFORDABLE GREENHOUSES FOR SMALL SCALE FARMERS
PUNDUTSO Affordable Greenhouses help farmers grow year-round, thereby boosting their livelihoods and bolstering local food security.
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PUNDUTSO AFFORDABLE GREENHOUSES
Scaling (the solution has passed the previous stages and is growing its impact on a regional or global scale)
Annual budget in 2017 (USD)
Number of beneficiaries impacted so far
Headquarters location: Country
Headquarters location: City
Location(s) of impact
HESE Affordable Greenhouse Venture
Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?
In resource-constrained contexts, many individuals are subsistence farmers, who rely on the rains for irrigating their crops. Dry spells of the year lead to seasonal variation in food production and ultimately, unemployment and food scarcity. These water problems, coupled with pest problems and small farming areas limit the productivity of smallholder farmers. This problem is further compounded by climate change which alters weather patterns.
Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?
Affordable Greenhouses have the potential to revolutionize the agricultural landscape for smallholder farmers in communities around the world. HESE Affordable Greenhouses help farmers grow year-round, thereby boosting their livelihoods and bolstering local food security. When used correctly, and by timing the market, greenhouses can increase annual yields tenfold while reducing water consumption by 30% to 70% compared to open-air farming. HESE Affordable Greenhouses provide shelter from both the heavy rains and scorching sun, and decreases likelihood of crop failure. Greenhouses are usable year-round and provides a more controlled environment for agriculture, reduces water consumption, and ensures crop production despite seasonal fluctuations in weather. Being able to cultivate crops year-round guarantees greater food security.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work
Improved Livelihoods: HESE Affordable Greenhouse users have a 6 month, or 2-3 crop cycle, return on investment.
Improved Household Food Security: A greenhouse provides the opportunity to grow nutritious fruits and vegetables.
Improved Community Food Security: Greenhouses provide year-round access to nutritious foods for the households and for the surrounding community members.
Reduction in Unemployment: Greenhouse owners are likely to employ other people to aid in maintaining their greenhouses.
Water Conservation: Greenhouses and the microclimate they create allow for a reduction in evapotranspiration that is not found in open-air farming. Greenhouses use efficient irrigation systems like drip irrigation.
Greenhouses in Arid and Semi-Arid Areas: Greenhouses can be introduced to places previously considered arid.
Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?
This initiative targets to start with a grant to cover licencing fees and set up costs that include marketing and training. From there we expect the initiative to be self sustaining from Year 3 onwards as we begin to realize profit. We will be selling the greenhouses at a profit. Thus were expect 100% grant for the first two years of operation. From year three to year five we expect 50% earned income and 50% grant. From year 6, 100% earned income. The key success factors for this venture include a strong consumer education campaign, an elaborate marketing drive to push sells, good stakeholder management that allows continuous product re-evaluation as well as product quality control. We will engage in customer education, marketing, stakeholder management and product quality control.
Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?
Affordable greenhouses are low cost and accessible to smallholder farmers. There are many other businesses that do greenhouses in Zimbabwe but the cost is beyond reach of many smallholder farmers. Greenhouses sold locally cost more than $2,000 with a minimum size of 300 square meters. PUNDUTSO Affordable Greenhouses are smaller 5.5 *6 meters and cost less than $800. As a result these greenhouses are affordable to smallholder farmers and are made from locally available materials.
Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.
This initiative comes from the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) program of the Penn State University. In 2010, in response to several requests from farmer cooperatives and agricultural research institutions in East Africa, HESE students and faculty set out to design AGs that can be built by two people in two days with materials costing less than $350. These AGs are made from locally-sourced materials with the exception of the glazing which needs to be imported. After field-testing approximately ten greenhouses in different climatic conditions and supply chain scenarios in Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda, the technology was licensed to a for-profit company in Kenya in 2012.
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