This story is provided by MIT Enterprise Forum - Pan-Arab Region.
Tunisian “Folibio” has been selected as one of the semi-finalist teams for this year’s MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab Region Start-Up Competition for the Ideas Track
While working as an agricultural researcher Emna Belaifa learned about the negative impacts of conventional agriculture where chemical pesticides and fertilizers are heavily used to nurture the soil. His research showed that chemical analysis of soils demonstrated water pollution but also proved the decrease of their fertility year by year. "In conventional agriculture we, generally, work with the mono-crop system. I had the idea to start the concept of an organic field, working in osmosis with its environment. I got to the conclusion that organic agriculture is sustainable but doesn’t insure much incomes. So, I worked on an economically sustainable project" says Emna.
Sustainable Farming Solutions
The idea is, to start an economically independent farm. Technically speaking, this means biodynamic culture on an integrated & closed system which will insure an increased yield over the years whilst insuring stability improved quality of soil structure and texture. In this context, crop waste and dung will be adjusted in compost soil amendment. Folibio will also apply crop rotation with green manure plantation to enhance the rate of organic matter in the soil in order to improve the yields and quality of their products. Thus, Folibio will sell its products without purchasing raw material, starting from the third year of its implementation.
The first farm which will introduce the concept will be located in Tunisia under a subhumide climate. It will cover 20 hectares including: 7 hectares of artichokes with estimated yields of 100 Tons, 5 hectares of olive trees whereby olives will be used to produce virgin oil and 8 hectares for feed stock. A herd of sheep composed of 50 sicilo sarde dairy ewes for cheese production and 50 thibar meat bred. The by-product crewel of the flock will be transformed by the regional craftswomen and sold to the textile industries. Animal husbandry will be introduced in the second year after the collection and storage of forage. 100 beehives will be installed on the farm for honey production. Bees will be used for pollination of forage, trees and artichoke. It’s the optimum method to produce good yields.
Besides this, Folibio adresses corporate social responsibility by boosting craftswomen power though integrating them into the production cycle and the artisanal production of some products.
Advice for Entrepreneurs
Folibio Team's advice to entrepreneurs is summarized in two words: "Passion and Perseverance"
Folibio will attend a two-day workshop in Qatar in April 25 along with 49 other teams, where they will receive coaching, training and network with other entrepreneurs from the Arab region and meet the region’s major players in the entrepreneurial ecosystem
Find out more about Folibio by:
Watching their 1 minute pitch: here
Following them on Twitter: @folibio
Visiting their website: www.folibio.com
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