With her beautiful smile and joyful face, Sona A’meir “Um Mohammad” receives you. Sona is one of the women benefiting from “Steps” project. She is married and has seven children. Since 2000, her husband and she have been working in agriculture especially in tomatoes cultivation. She knew about the “Steps” project through the Ministry of Social Development. After she got full knowledge about its details and conditions, she participated in it.
Sona says, “the land that my husband inherited from his father was as hard as tiles and unfit for agriculture and needed reclamation. Together with my husband, we reclaimed the land and made it cultivable. Before participating in “Steps” project, we used to rent a greenhouse and plant it with tomatoes. But this project helped me to build our own greenhouse through the grant and loan I obtained from the project, which amounted to $2,955 and $5,500 respectively. Now, I regularly repay the loan without any delay.
Currently, we are the owners of this enterprise. I get up in the early morning with full activity to harvest the tomatoes crops while my husband packs the produce in boxes and sends them to the vegetable market where we agreed with a salesman to sell him our crops. In the first harvest, we used inorganic fertilizers but later on we replaced them with organic compost from cow dung to produce chemical free tomatoes.
Without the assistance provided by “Steps” project, this enterprise would not have been a reality. The training course I received changed my practical and social life. It also provided me with knowledge to manage my enterprise. Also, it gave me the opportunity to get acquainted with women entrepreneurs with whom I still communicate and exchange relevant information. Most importantly, the continuous guidance and follow up I receive from ACAD team helped me in the management of my enterprise.”
With regard to the difficulties facing Sona’s enterprise, it is the problem of water to irrigate her vegetation. Sona hopes to build their own rainwater harvesting pool to irrigate their crops in the summer time.