Eco-cooperative in small greenhouse farming

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Eco-cooperative in small greenhouse farming: Sustainable Development Support Association empowers active women in agriculture

Antoniny, UkraineAntoniny, Ukraine
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The project introduces eco-energy greenhouses based on geodomes with built-in wind turbine and solar panels, independent heating and smart watering systems, to be replicated and cooperatively shared to part-time employed women in rural areas, increasing their land productivity and profitability.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if we put a wind turbine on top of a geodome and add solar panels to it, creating an energy-independent smart-operated greenhouse for respo
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Our community’s climate changes bring stronger winds with sunny warm seasons on our rich, fertile lands surrounding a lake. Most of the families experience climatic and economic instability and need to improve their incomes. Electricity and gas prices grow because of the economic crisis, making us consider alternative energy sources. Prices for spice and fresh early fruit are rising every season in larger cities, close to which we are located.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

A greenhouse will protect the crops from strong winds and raise profits of the women. At the same time, this extra wind energy can be used by a wind turbine mounted on top of the greenhouse. A geodome is a firm innovative structure that can hold a turbine. When there is no wind, this greenhouse will use solar blocks - and ceramic heating panels (for colder weather), or ventilators (for a forced blow-through in hot weather). Accumulators inside will preserve the extra electric energy for the night. A wi-fi camera will monitor the state of each greenhouse. A drip watering system will economize on water, feeding itself from local wells. To stay profitable, each greenhouse should cover about 50 sq.m., economizing on available household land.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

After we make and install the first module, the local community will be amazed at the technological rate of the greenhouse and several other families would join us, firstly as trainees in greenhouse business and later as partners. Our profits will improve and we will make the 2nd module on the same season, leasing it to a partner in other village. More local people will realize that climate changes have led to the ability to raise and sell the valuable cultures that were cultivated only at the South of Ukraine. 3 years ago we were the first to found a wineyard so far to the North of the region, using a water source from a former plant, thus allowing to clear the water source and make it profitable for the local council and the community.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The project will research and identify the added value from such type of small farming, It will allow the creation of additional jobs and profits among other partner peasants staring next season. Every season 1 construction will make around 11000 USD of pure profit. Every next season, when working with partner peasants, the main operator can earn its part (5500 USD) a season from each Module used on the partner’s land and the partner peasant can earn another part (5500 USD) from the Module that works on her/his land. This initiative will contribute to the development of agricultural cooperatives using alternative energy sources (much less dependent on traditional energy) in Ukraine The children of partner peasants will be a part of alternative energy culture and be able to further support it.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The project will expand to the Antoniny subregion in 5 years, each year replicating 2 or more greenhouses at the cost of SDSA and training partners in greenery technologies; covering 20 -30 partner families with 1 or 2 greenhouses operated by each. After 5 years of work with each family, it will gradually sell all the modules to the partners at the downgraded price. In 9-10 years, SDSA will have a strong enough cooperative partner network to launch a larger project in eco-energy production. After the research, a Module Manual will be developed, shared to communities and development agencies.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

This project requires about USD 2500 to build each greenhouse module and launch it. Each module produces greenery yielding about USD 5500 of pure profit each season in Ukraine. It requires a network organizational structure ensuring the work of the modules, gathering crops, transporting and selling the produce, and renovations of business parts. Using profits from the 1st module, 1 or 2 other can be developed and shared with responsible partners.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Greenhouse is a popular solution to improving household profitability for responsible owners. Usually such projects are either a cheap and simple design aimed at improving family nutrition using their personally-raised vegetable and fruit; or a complicated and expensive solution for larger specialized farms. Our concept (USD 2500 a module) is relatively inexpensive. An average household wouldn’t invest in it, but would work on “technology lease”, partner conditions. This business, if properly managed, would be very profitable for a household and require each partner to work 2-3 hours a day.

Founding Story

The motivation behind the wish to create this project was the understanding of the critical importance of sustainable development in the future of Ukraine, especially in rural areas, and the wish for opening of the team members' creative potential in this field. Besides, team realises that its project are aimed for the social benefit of local rural communities and small regions. The idea emerged in 2013 as a synthesis of new technologies and their possible cooperative-based commercial application. Local strong winds lower the average temperature, but sunny weather enables gaining more output by prolonging the season. Team members like new technology in agriculture and wish to advance it, making their lives easier and more interesting.


Juliya Zavadovska, co-founder of the SDSA NGO in Lviv, Ukraine, will organize and launch the project, ensuring its organizational and financial sustainability. Maksym Filyak will be responsible for overall technical support and marketing of the produce. Juzef Zavadovskiy will ensure the growth of partner network. Vitaliy Zavadovskyy + Oleksiy Pasichnyk will launch all technical solutions for modules, monitor performance, and replace parts.