Hydroponic habaneros for exportBy Andrea Hablutzel Pelayo
Agriculture of the future in the hands of Mexicans
The best businesses are created from a growing need amongst the population. In this day and age, with the increase in demographics, it’s necessary to look for alternatives in agricultural production and that way satisfy the great demand for quality natural produce. Better yet, sustainable and environment friendly businesses. An excellent example of this is Amar Hidroponia, a 100% Mexican company that by hydroponics is growing high quality exportable products.
Basically hydroponics is the soilless growth of plants, which does not interfere nor alter the environment; quite the opposite due to it needing less to none fertilizer and less water than soil crops, ironic as that may sound. It does not contaminate and they use drinking water for its process, this guarantees products free form decease and pollution. The results hydroponics give are far surpassing soil production ones and with better quality.
With hydroponics, crop’s growth is accelerated because the 16 chemical elements a plant need to grow are given to them all at once on the water whilst, with traditional farming, plants get 13 elements from the soil and 3 from the water; the result is a quality super plant, low cost, time and space efficient. One can actually create its own hydroponic crops in either a garden or an apartment even.
Rodrigo Domenzain and his now wife, Karla, form AMAR A.C, a foundation that supports people with low resources in Mexico. What started 16 years ago as a food and basic necessities delivery and medical aid to rural communities evolved; from the search for a long term solution to their lack of food and income they came across the hydroponic world and later on taught it to these same rural communities.
By giving people the tools to grow food by hydroponics, they realized the potential of not only the technique itself, but of the commercialization of the produce it creates. They began with vegetable sales in a cellar in Mexico City’s food supply central, afterwards they sold their product in supermarkets as well. They realized that most of their produce was being exported to the U.S.A, mainly Habanero peppers, to Los Angeles. Not losing momentum, they traveled to California and later on strategically started their own company in San Diego, that way they get to receive and sell all of the habanero merchandise they send from Mexico.
They have evolved into Amar Hidroponia, located in Mexico City with their own greenhouse where they teach hydroponics to individuals every two weeks; this makes it a self-sustaining project. With the makings from the courses quotas, $1500 pesos for 2 days, they destined it to scholarships for the farmers in rural areas and to people with disabilities. They are very committed to the environmental cause, at the same time designing and making green roof and walls for important companies in the cities.
Habanero peppers are their main product and it comes in different presentations, including a pocket size presentation of dehydrated habanero, without conservatives and with very accessible prices.
They are a franchised business now, for either greenhouses or shadehouses, which means habanero pepper production on a major scale. Its distribution center is located in Cancun, Q.Roo where they support the farmers, giving them the know how to producing. The overall cost of your own franchise is of $2.5million pesos, it includes the cost of the land, the labour force and the making of the greenhouse or shadehouse.
The fact that this is within everyone’s reach, being so simple, low cost, quality and space effective really gives one hope for a better world, green in every way. It surely is an excellent alternative for a business that shows results that will benefit society in general.
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