FOOD SECURITY INCREASE THROUGH GREENHOUSE FARMING EXPLORATION
Nigerians are now turning to greenhouse farming technology to increase food production because of unpredictable weather conditions.
To boost food production, farmers have been in search of crops cultivation technologies that would help them control the climate for their plants 24 hours a day.
This will allow their plants grow strong, healthy and big. One of these is greenhouse. Greenhouses are framed or inflated structures covered with transparent or translucent material large enough to grow crops under partial or full controlled environmental conditions to get optimum growth and productivity.
Greenhouse is fast gaining popularity among farmers because it enables them grow exotic vegetables, flowers and fruits throughout the year and help to improve the depleting water table. This means farmers can grow crops anytime of the year and make the most use of land. The technology gives plants exactly what they need – the perfect climate, the right amount of light, the right amount of nutrition, exact amounts of water, CO2 and proper ventilation.
Experts report that the yield under greenhouse cultivation can be achieved to the level of 5-8 times as compared to the open crop cultivation which is two times.
It is also possible to harvest a single crop all year round with minimum additional inputs and higher income can be generated.
Vegetables and flowers grown under greenhouses have given high returns and top quality produce.
Under the greenhouses, the plants are protected from wind, precipitation, excess radiation and temperature. The other benefits are that crops of good quality and higher yield can be grown, water requirement is very less, while the low labor-intensive method helps in controlling pests and diseases.
Due to very little sunlight access, humidity of the fertilizer is maintained, external insects and organisms that harm a plant don’t enter it and plant growth is even due to same climatic condition.
Greenhouse farming has proved popular with big farmers and investors, who find it suitable for labor-intensive food production. The facility providers believe greenhouses represent potential growth market for a variety of economical, environmentally technical and ecological reasons and they are taking advantage of this to grow their businesses.
There is therefore a high need for a new and effective technology which can improve continuously the productivity, profitability, sustainability of the farming system. One such technology is the greenhouse technology.
Consequently, Plethora Farms is training farmers and entrepreneurs on the use of its greenhouse technology for fresh vegetable production.
The training focused on the production and post-harvest management of vegetables such as tomatoes, pepper and cucumber using the greenhouse technology.