Nurturing the seedlings of success
"Not only does NOA share that philosophy, but they also take pride and pleasure at seeing my little farm grow from a small greenhouse into a robust enterprise."
"Green beans, that’s the ticket. Green beans. It’s strange how a decision like that can make the difference between a good year a less good one," muses Ali Dedja, scratching his chin.
"We get a much better yield than with tomatoes, which is what we grew last year. So switching was actually an easy decision," Ali adds. With the first loan from NOA in 2009, which was for just over EUR 8,500, he had erected his first greenhouse on the land behind his house to grow more vegetables, both in terms of quantity and diversity. "Good sun exposure and little wind, plus the soil is very healthy. Most important, though, is that my wife and I make a very good team," he says.
Growing produce in his greenhouse enabled Ali to substantially increase productivity, and, more importantly, to achieve a more consistent harvest. "A consistent product, especially with consistent quality, that’s really what counts for my customers," Ali observes. “When it comes to consistency, especially for what we grow, there is really no way around a greenhouse." The latest loan, in July 2013, for just over EUR 2,000 from NOA went towards purchasing new seeds.
This investment enabled Ali to better align his cultures with market demand as well as grow a type of produce that was better adapted to the climate and soil conditions. "We thought long and hard about it, but switching from tomatoes to green beans has so far been one of the best decisions we’ve made."