Nimia Melgara: Greenhouse User

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Nimia Melgara of Los Pinares

Nimia Melgara has been a Greenhouse user from September of last year.  Namlo has been tracking information from greenhouses users to be able to better understand how they are using the greenhouse, and what support they need in order to be successful.  This is a profile, not of Nimia, but of how she uses the greenhouse.  

Nimia lives in the remote community of Los Pinares, where Namlo constructed a school in years past.  Nimia received seeds for carrots, green peppers, beets and basil as part of her “start up” package when she received the greenhouse. She’s not paying for fertilizer or pesticides since she is growing organically. Initially, the basil didn’t sprout and the beets didn’t mature, but carrots, onions, green peppers and tomatoes did fine. She has consumed at least half to 100% of each item she grows, trades some, and if she sells ($21.00), she sells in the community. She has consumed 8 lbs of carrots, 30 green peppers, 6 lbs of beets, 444 heads of onions, 48 lbs of tomatoes, 30 lbs of cabbage (total value of $35.00) plus the seeds which she retains for subsequent plantings which also have a value. The amount of vegetables consumed might not seem enormous yet, but when compared to the information in the Namlo’s nutrition report, we are definitely improving the dietary diversity of participants.

Nimia with former field coordinator Rosario

Nimia with former field coordinator Rosario

Nimia checking out progress

Nimia checking out progress

We are also seeing that every participant takes a different path, some concentrating on specific vegetables (usually green peppers) while others try out a wider variety. They are learning what grows best.  We’ll be posting more information about the measured impact of the greenhouse as we collect it.

Nicaragua is the poorest country in Central America and the second poorest in the Western Hemisphere after Haiti.  About 47% of the population is living in poverty, mostly in the rural areas where the majority of the population is involved in agriculture.  Namlo began it’s greenhouse program last year to improve nutrition, and dietary diversity in poor, remote, mountain communities.  To date, 13 greenhouses have been installed inlcuding 2 greenhouses installed in Los Pinares, 6 in Barrio Nuevo, 2 in La Labranza, 2 in Las Calabazas (among the organic farmers from the market in Esteli) and 1 in El Quebracho–which is unfortunately not being used because of the severe drought.  We also have two greenhouses that were installed, one in Salmeron (which was damaged in high winds and will be re-fitted with 1 inch pvc pipe) and another one that needs to be refitted with new doors.