Greenhouse farming in Nigeria is not really popular, but it has been in existence in developed countries for several years. Since the concept is quite new to our environment that is not to say it isn’t already in existence completely in Nigeria. To go further, you need to understand the concept of greenhouse farming in Nigeria.
What is a Greenhouse?
To define the term in layman language, a greenhouse is a building with glass roofs and sides where you can grow crops in a conducive environment. A greenhouse is totally different from a typical farmhouse, which is for plant and animals.
In a greenhouse you do not bring in animals, it is basically for raising plants. In a greenhouse the farmer has the luxury of regulating several weather elements like temperature, humidity and even light intensity. This way you can grow crops that are sensitive to weather in a any region in Nigeria
What is Greenhouse farming?
Now that we have an idea of what a greenhouse is, this concept should be very easy to understand. Greenhouse farming is simply the use of a greenhouse to raise crops for commercial or subsistence purposes. It is the cultivation of crops under controlled conditions to ensure optimal yield and marketability.
Greenhouse farming in Nigeria
To be candid most Nigerians have never heard a thing about greenhouse farming not to talk of imagining adopting the concept for their farming practices. Never to worry, this article will provide you some information about greenhouse farming in Nigeria and how you can start yours.
With greenhouse farming you can easily grow a crop typical to the temperate regions in the tropics and vice versa. This form of farming is common in several countries of the world like China, Germany, Belgium, New Zealand, etc. The greenhouse farming industry in Holland has grown to about 3,000 companies who contribute over 7.2 billion Euros to the country’s economy yearly.
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In recent times greenhouse farming has found its way into the Nigerian agricultural sector. In Taraba State for example, a large greenhouse farm is being setup that should provide employment to over 300 youth. Asides this, several private organizations and individuals are already setting up greenhouse farms in several parts of the country. Before we continue let’s take a look at a few advantages of greenhouse farming.
Advantages of Greenhouse Farming
The advantages of adopting greenhouse farming cannot be overemphasized, below are a few:
- Plants are sufficiently shielded from adverse weather conditions that can hamper their growth.
- The growing environment of the plants is properly managed to ensure the absence of pests and diseases.
- There is ease of production all year round as the controlled condition allows for continual cultivation.
- The crops can be grown in commercial quantities regardless of where the farm is located.
- There is improved harvest and production yields due to more efficient management and conducive environment.
Types of Greenhouses
It is important to understand the different types of greenhouses as it will influence the decision of the farmer and the capital required for startup. Greenhouses can be grouped under three major types and I will briefly enumerate them below.
- Domestic greenhouse. This basically built with glass of 3mm thickness. The glass used is known as Dutch Light or Horticultural glass grade. This type of greenhouse is the cheapest and easiest to construct.
- Plastic greenhouse. This greenhouse is built majorly of moldable polymer materials like polythene and polycarbonate. It is generally regarded to be more durable than the domestic greenhouse.
- Commercial greenhouse. This is generally the most expensive kind of greenhouse as it contains all the necessary equipment which can be controlled on site or remotely.
A fourth kind of greenhouse which is available in Nigeria is the Dizengoff greenhouse. It is also made of plastic materials but it contains all the inputs and equipment needed for successful farming in Nigeria.
Building a greenhouse in Nigeria
Most farmers using greenhouses in Nigeria build their units rather than purchase. The reason for this is nothing more than economies of scale. It is easier to construct than to buy the whole unit. In Nigeria, plastic materials are more in use for the construction of greenhouses because of the price and the climate. The size of greenhouse you should build will largely depend on the crop yield you expect at harvest. Here is a breakdown of how much you would need to construct different sizes of greenhouse:
- 100 meters by 50 meters will cost about #300,000
- 150 meters by 60 meters will cost about #600,000
You can use that template to calculate how much you will need to start your greenhouse farm.
Tips to Consider in Starting Your Greenhouse Farming
I am guessing that at this point you have developed a bit of interest in greenhouse farming. It is always advisable before going into any business to take tips as they will be useful in avoiding existing pitfalls. Here are a few tips you should consider in starting your greenhouse farm.
Calculate the space needed.
Before building the greenhouse you should consider the space you need for the crops you are planning to cultivate. Just like any building, a greenhouse farming is a long term investment . Take a futuristic look at the farm and get a place that will still accommodate your plants in the nearest future.
Decide the kind of greenhouse farm you want to use.
As stated earlier there are several kinds of greenhouses. You can study the different types available, their advantages and disadvantages, their costs, etc. before making your choice.
Choose a site for your greenhouse.
The kind of greenhouse you’ve decided to use will affect your siting decision to a very large extent. But on the average you should choose a place with adequate water and electricity supply.
You should also consider the security of the area as well. You must also consider the amount of sunlight available in the area, the drainage system and the presence or absence of trees.
Raising of capital
This aspect is key to any business, agriculture or not. Without capital you can hardly even start a business. Now that you have an idea of how much you need to construct the greenhouse and purchase the land you can make your estimates.
There are several ways to raise capital like bank loans, personal savings, investors and gifts from friends. One of the most important ways, especially for agribusinesses in Nigeria, is government grants. You can visit the Bank of Industry to apply for an agribusiness grant.
Greenhouse Farming in Nigeria- Wrap Up
Without missing word, greenhouse farming is a very expensive venture but most rewarding agricultural venture today. You can use it to produce crops that does not grow easily in a particular area.
For instance, through greenhouse farming, one can grow tomatoes in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, which ordinarily won’t be possible.
Greenhouse Farming in Nigeria- Business Plan
If you really want to invest in greenhouse farming and need comprehensive businesses plan or one on one consultation then Whatapp me of 07033680227.Follow Us