Abu Goubran with his granddaughter Wia, 1, and a pile of freshly harvested eggplant, tomatoes and watermelon. He does not own land, but has significant agricultural expertise thanks to a lifetime spent working in farming. Mercy Corps connected him to a landowner who was interested in benefiting from that expertise, and provided some resources to improve the farm, including building a greenhouse. Together, they have seen yields increase dramatically. The greenhouse generates 10 times the yield of the same area of land not under a greenhouse, Abu Goubran says. The use of greenhouses is not common in this area, so they were the first to be able to grow out of season vegetables. They use organic methods, with an apiary on site to pollinate the fields. They also open the farm to do training sessions for local farmers on innovative farming techniques.
Between Abu Goubran, the landowner, the various laborers who work the fields and another partner who helps with purchasing supplies the farm directly supports four families. The village is home to another 400 families who benefit indirectly from reduced prices and a broader range of foods.