Tehmine Khachatryan is from Shirak region’s borderline Meghrashat community. She has always dreamt of owning a business, which would help her do what she loves, financially support her big family, and at the same time stay at home and take care of the household.
WFD NGO’s business grants project announcement provided Tehmine with an opportunity to fulfill her dream and build a greenhouse where she can grow tomatoes. Tehmine was so happy to find her name in the list of grant winners, after she took part in the training and submitted her business project proposal.
Despite the severe winter in Shirak region, immediately upon winning the grant, with the support of her family members, Tehmine undertook the process of purchasing construction materials and building the greenhouse, so that she could start growing her first harvest of tomatoes with the first signs of warmer weather.
After construction works, which took over 3 months, and after re-planting first tomato seedlings, the opening ceremony of “Eco Tomato” greenhouse took place in the presence of WFD NGO staff members.
Tehmine grows mostly Cherry and Anahit type tomatoes in her 90 square meter greenhouse, where she also allocated a small piece of land for piloting growing cucumbers and bell peppers.
While enthusiastically describing the details about construction, air ventilation, soil irrigation and other works related to the greenhouse, Tehmine kept mentioning the tremendous support of her family members in this undertaking.
“The key to my success is my family’s support – I cannot imagine doing all this work without them! My in-laws and my brother have been in this with me, starting from greenhouse design works through purchase of construction materials and actually building the greenhouse. Up to this day, we enjoy working in the greenhouse together and enjoy harvesting every single plant”, says Tehmine while showing us the seedlings carefully grown in plastic containers by her mother-in-law.
Despite Tehmine is still in anticipation of her first real harvest, the results of her hard work are already visible. According to her, the demand for organic tomatoes is high among her relatives and community residents. They have already negotiated the process of selling tomatoes with several local shops. The beginner businesswoman also owns her “Eco Tomato” trademark, which she plans to use while entering the market and developing her brand. If successful, she plans to expand the greenhouse and grow other crops.
While congratulating Tehmine and wishing her business a successful and steady growth, WFD NGO president Gohar Markosyan mentioned:
“Our goal is not only development of women’s potential and promoting their entrepreneurial skills, but also helping families unite and gain confidence through implementation of such projects and initiatives. Owning even small business is already an incentive for men to stay in their village and make income together with their families instead of having to engage in migrant labor. We will consider our project a successful one, even if we are able to change the social status of several families and keep them in their communities instead of seeking for opportunities abroad”.
This is already the 6th greenhouse built with the support of “Women for Development” NGO. To read success stories about other businesses established by the organization, please visit this link