|Asuaje interviews a Greenhouse Association member|
ADESJO introduced the greenhouse project to San Jose de Ocoa by building two demonstration greenhouses in 2002. Currently, there are 38 greenhouses in the area operated by 17 women’s associations. The rationale for the project design was that women could supplement the income earned on small family plots farmed by the men in the household.
Professor Asuaje’s evaluation determined that “in general, the greenhouse project is providing an additional income to all groups identified in the survey study”. Perhaps even more importantly, the project has built capacity in the community both financially and in terms of knowledge and leadership. For example, 89% of the farmers surveyed for the evaluation were able to answer all questions about greenhouse management correctly and 93% responded that their leadership skills had significantly improved.
|Interviewing a Farmer|
A second but equally important reason for conducting evaluations is to gain insights into how a project can be improved. Based on his survey, Professor Asuaje was able to provide several recommendations, particularly regarding how the project could be more effective in reaching the poorest farmers. For mountainous communities with very little land, greenhouses hold a lot of promise for increasing income without stressing limited natural resources.