ARELIS Horticulture Powered Education
Explain your project in details:
I have identified three problems that i would want to help reduce and possibly eradicate. 1-Food Supply: There are shortages of food supply in our country to the extent that we are importing vegetables from neighboring countries as the local farmers cannot meet demand due to several factors. i specialize in everyday vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers that i can produce in large quantities using a small piece of land . 2-employment: The unemployment rates in our country are alarming and by doing the above i create employment. 3-helping the less privileged attain an education A lot of smart young people are dropping out of school because of financial issues and there are cases of young girls rushing into early marriages and prostitution as they think that is all they have left to do, and the boys indulging in criminal activities just to 'make a living.' I would like to reduce such cases and give better opportunities to the young men and women for a brighter tomorrow. We have adopted the Israel technology of using drip irrigation. it is a form of irrigation that saves water and fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of each plant, either onto the soil surface or directly onto the root zone, through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters. it avoids watering of unnecessary parts of the field thus reduces weed growth and saves a lot of water. Greenhouse horticulture allows us to grow crops in a controlled environment thus we get better results and crops. Our main target market are supermarkets as they help us reach most of the people in the community we operate in and thus we move volumes, target market includes restaurants, middlemen, vendors, schools, individuals.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
With the scholarship program we have in place our social impact will be measured by the number of children who will benefit from this program and those that actually pass and make it education wise and in life.Our current project has not only managed to create employment but the fruit of these efforts are that the organisation has taken on the mandate to offer three very deserving students (2 girls; 1 boy) high school scholarships that cater for their school fees, uniforms together with all relevant study packs. we look to helping more less privileged children complete their education. However, the lack of continuity in production has negatively affected the program. We would want to give the children a chance at a decent education biased towards the girl child to get an equal opportunity to show case their talents and ability when given the necessary support. this will help avoid early marriages, unplanned pregnancies, forced prostitution and criminal intent for the boys as they will have something positive to do. Creation of employment will also be another positive impact as we aim to reduce the number of unemployed. greenhouse activities requires human labour and so do the scholarship program activities. this will enable us to give some of the unemployed graduates in our communities of operation jobs. We aim to make communities realize that unity is key for a nations success and achieving this will be another social impact. Last but not least, feeding our nation, we want to reduce food shortages affecting our nation and be able to put a meal on the table for as many homes as possible through all the above.
Sustainability and future plans
We have chosen greenhouse farming as it is a business that will be the next best thing, it is a thriving business as everyone wants to eat and demand is way higher than supply thus has a guaranteed market to supply. Greenhouses allow all year production of the high value crops we grow. We have managed to acquire a 25 year lease on a 10 hectare piece of land for our project. Our main limitation to a commercial project is limited capital to utilize the land we have and to fill the gap in demand of the products we grow as we cannot meet the demand of our current customers. We are looking to set up more greenhouses to allow an increase and continuity in production and hope we manage to get investors or partners to implement this project. In the meantime we are hoping to expand bit by bit from what we earn from our current operation. Setting up of the above will allow our scholarship program to also grow and impact a lot more people.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
I am a young man aged 27. I am a holder of National Diploma in Purchasing and Supply Management, hence I got into production and supply, also a holder of an Executive Certificate in Program and Projects Monitoring and Evaluation. I had the opportunity of taking part in a program run by Progressio UK called International Citizen Service in 2014 and got the opportunity to work with some less privileged children who are determined to be successful in their studies and in life but financial constraints are hindering their dreams as they cannot afford to get an education with some having being forced to drop out of school. After completing the ICS program I was awarded a grant by Progressio to implement my idea and i took it upon myself to do the little he could to assist these less privileged children and with the help of Progressio managed to set up the greenhouse we have and are depending on- thus Areli was born in the year 2015. Our current project has not only managed to create employment but the fruit of these efforts are that the organization has taken on the mandate to offer three very deserving students high school scholarships. We have successfully paid in full the school fees and purchased uniforms for them together with all the relevant study packs. We look to helping more children complete their education. it has not been an easy journey but because of my love for horticulture and helping others I strive to make the dream come true