Greenhouses can add value to land traditionally farmed in the open-air and improve the livelihoods of those who operate them, especially in resource-constrained environments.
Improved Livelihoods: HESE Affordable Greenhouse users have a 6 month, or 2-3 crop cycle, return on investment. This is a result of the combination of reduced growing times, increased productivity, and year-round growth that a greenhouse provides. This short return on investment turns an individual’s greenhouse into a year-long income generating activity. For especially entrepreneurial individuals, greenhouse ownership is also a springboard for scaling up to create a larger, multiple greenhouse agra-business.
Improved Household Food Security: A greenhouse provides the opportunity to grow nutritious fruits and vegetables in addition to crops to be sold at market. The year-round growth a greenhouse provides ensures that no household in possession of a greenhouse need suffer from food insecurity no matter the season or extreme weather conditions.
Improved Community Food Security: Many climates experience “off seasons” or “lean seasons”, when food, especially produce, becomes scarce and prices soar. Greenhouses provide year-round access to nutritious foods for the households that operate them, but also for the surrounding community members who buy greenhouse produce sold at market during these challenging food insecure seasons.
Reduction in Unemployment & Urban Migration: Greenhouse owners are likely to employ others to aid in maintaining their greenhouses, especially after achieving their return on investment. Owners who go on to create large agra-business are even more likely to employ others. Being able to cultivate crops year-round guarantees that users themselves have a decreased risk of unemployment and urban migration. Urban migration triggers a complex cascade of social challenges in urban as well as rural areas.