Native Nurseries: Conserving the Native Trees

native nurseries
We have produced more than 500,000 seedlings that found their way to reforestation sites.   

Native Nurseries is a company that believes in using native trees and shrubs in landscaping to increase resilience because they are adapted to local environmental conditions. In 2011, the company started producing native trees for the reforestation sector, providing high-quality trees that can better survive in their environment. This led the founders to realize that the circulated root at the bottom of a regular tree pot is harmful to the tree’s roots. 

The founder of Native Nurseries, Khaled Salem, came up with a solution to prevent the damage from occurring. He introduced the usage of air pots that produce a fibrous root system by pruning root tips and more roots inside the soil. The latter innovation allows the trees to produce healthier leaves and stems. We talked to him about his innovation and his journey in the GIMED program.   

Q: How does your product work and what makes it special or unique?  
A: We adopt the highest production techniques in the world, air pruning pots, in addition to the best irrigation and fertigation techniques, to produce high-quality seedlings. The techniques we use can produce high-quality trees at the fastest rate. In addition to the air pots, at Native Nurseries, we use a fully automated irrigation and fertigation system that precisely provides the plant with its needs of water and fertilizer. The usage of these two productions has led our customers to share their positive feedback on the high survival rate of the trees which they have planted in their fields.  

Q: Who is benefitting from your solution and why is the solution important to you? 
A: We have a niche market, of people who admire native trees, almost all of them are educated about the importance of native trees and shrubs. Our nurseries are necessary for the fast production rate to maximize the business turnover. Since our establishment, we have produced more than 500,000 seedlings that found their way to reforestation sites.   

Q: How is your solution relevant to your sector and Lebanon?
A: Our customers reap the benefits of high-quality root systems like fast establishment and survival rate. Since we are producing locally and selling to the local market a product that is equivalent to a similar imported product at a lower price.   

Q: Why did you apply to the GIMED program and how did it help you?  
A: We needed to boost our business, especially at the level of reaching out to the mass market. We hope that we can reach more people and maximize our sales. The Berytech team was a valuable resource that taught us a lot about marketing and management. They were especially helpful in terms of providing support.  

Q: What did you achieve so far and what are your key success factors?  
A: So far, we have drawn up our green business plan and are working on achieving it in the coming months. We created our digital marketing campaign and eventually increased our sales. The most important thing that we achieved is upgrading our production to be extremely environmentally friendly. Like water recycling, 100% energy efficient using off-the-grid electricity, and carbon negative since we plant trees at a large scale.     

Q: What is one thing you would have done differently throughout your journey? 
A: Seeing the importance of social media and digital marketing these days and in the future, I would have started taking courses and expanding my knowledge about digital marketing, from the start of my journey.   

Q: Have you ever thought of giving up on your venture? If yes, what made you pull through?  
A: Never, Native Nurseries is there not only to do business but also because we have a cause – educating people about the importance of native trees and their use in the landscape to conserve their existence.  

Q: What are your long-term goals as a startup?  
A: Our goal is to make plating native trees, shrubs, and other native plants a national trend.

Q: What advice would you give an entrepreneur who is starting in your industry?  
A: When you believe in what you do, do it with passion and never give up.    

About GIMED  

Berytech is the official partner of The Green Impact MED Project – Positive Investments for Positive Impacts (GIMED), an EU-funded project under the ENI-CBC Med Programme aiming at supporting green entrepreneurs to better access finance and market in the Mediterranean. The project provides training, coaching sessions, capacity building workshops, and sub-grants to consolidate green business creation and green business development. Learn more about the GIMED Project

Picture of Yara Karkafi

Yara Karkafi

Yara Karkafi joined Berytech in December 2022 as a Communications and Outreach Officer and is currently leading the Lebanon Innovate Program. She supports the team in managing the program’s communication strategy, events and activities while ensuring that the message is communicated effectively.

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