Gharset Kheir (Q&A): Sowing The Seeds of Sustainability 

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Q: What does your startup do? 

A: At Gharset Kheir, we are dedicated to creating food security by preserving and promoting Lebanese heirloom seeds. These native seeds are crucial for reducing costs and increasing profits for small farmers, offering a diverse array of crops with unique flavors that help differentiate them from competitors. Our journey began with a passion for Lebanon’s agricultural heritage, leading us to collaborate with local farmers to ensure the quality of our seeds. 

Our fully integrated agricultural baskets are a cornerstone of our mission, providing ready-to-plant solutions that make it easy for households to achieve self-sufficiency. Each basket is designed to be accessible and practical, fostering a green economy and promoting environmental sustainability. Additionally, we offer high-quality, tested, and trusted seeds for agricultural institutions and nurseries, ensuring the reliability and success of their planting endeavors. 

Q: What is one of your biggest achievements in your entrepreneurial journey, and what lesson did you learn from it? 

A: One of our biggest achievements in our entrepreneurial journey was creating a team of over 250 brand ambassadors who help us encourage families to plant their own gardens. In 2022, we successfully launched more than 12,000 integrated agricultural baskets. This milestone demonstrated the market demand for our products and reinforced the importance of our mission to support sustainable agriculture. The lesson we learned from this success is the power of community engagement and the value of building strong relationships with our customers and partners. 

Q: What are the main challenges you faced throughout your journey? 

A: The main challenge is consistently trying to reduce production costs while maintaining the quality of our seeds and renewing them each year. 

Q: How did you overcome these challenges? 

A: To overcome these challenges, we have collaborated with over 48 small farmers to boost production this year. Additionally, we rented a 48,000 square meter plot to ensure seed quality. By reducing outsourcing expenses, we managed to cut costs by over 30%. We also applied to the Agrytech program to benefit from resources, mentorship, networking, and grants, which played a crucial role in lowering our production costs. 

Q: Why did you apply to the Agrytech program? What were you hoping to achieve through it? 

A: We applied to the Agrytech program to gain access to resources, mentorship, and a network that could help us scale our operations and refine our business model. Additionally, we sought to benefit from the grants offered by the program, which played a crucial role in reducing our production costs. 

Q: What are your long-term goals as a startup? 

A: Our long-term goals as a startup include increasing the number of rooted seeds and their varieties. We aim to be a leading provider of heirloom seeds and sustainable agricultural solutions, contributing to global food security and environmental sustainability. Moreover, we aspire to make Lebanese heirloom seeds accessible worldwide. 

Q: What’s something you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? 

A: What I enjoy most about being an entrepreneur is the ability to create positive change and witness the tangible impact of our work on communities and the environment. It is incredibly rewarding to see our products help people grow their food and practice sustainable farming. 

Q: What advice would you give to someone joining the next batch of the Agrytech Accelerator Program? 

A: Stay focused on your mission, be open to learning from both successes and failures and leverage the network and resources provided by the program. Building strong relationships with mentors and peers can significantly enhance your entrepreneurial journey. Don’t lose sight of your dream and trust yourself. 

About Agrytech 

Berytech designed and developed the Agrytech Accelerator Program to make sure Lebanon has the most competitive companies that are sourcing, solving, growing and transforming food, as well as feeding the world from Lebanon. The Agrytech Accelerator Program launched by Berytech and funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Lebanon to enable the Lebanese entrepreneurial ecosystem and stimulate innovation and startup creation in the agriculture, food, and clean technology sectors. 

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Rudy Daniel

Rudy Daniel joined the Berytech Communication team with his experience as a marketer, content writer, and trainer having led numerous successful campaigns and supported local entrepreneurs and change-makers. Rudy is a huge video game enthusiast who enjoys mind-boggling puzzles, hiking, deep-sea diving and paragliding.

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