Here’s Why Greenhouse Farming Is Your Only Option

Greenhouse farming is nothing alien to most farmers. This farming technology has been around for many decades but, its adoption has been anything but good.

Till recently, only a small percentage of farmers have been able to adopt and implement greenhouse cultivation of their crops.

Partly because of an initial high cost of investment and partly because some vegetable consumers loathe greenhouse grown food, which in their opinion, are thought to be as good as synthetic.

If you know what I mean.

For example, try telling somebody that you are selling greenhouse grown tomatoes and they will flee away from you as though you are a plague.

However, the truth is quite contrary.

Vegetables grown in the greenhouse or tunnels are just as safe and as healthy as those in your kitchen garden. The only difference is, the yield will be much higher with the later and much safer as long as good agricultural practices are observed.

As far as farmers are concerned, constructing a greenhouse might just be their greatest investments in years to follow.

Greenhouse farming - glasshouses

Making greenhouses out of glasses makes them more durable and we call them glasshouses.

 

Are you a serious farmer or an agribusiness entrepreneur?

 

Here’s why greenhouse farming is your only option

 

Off-season growing

In one of my previous post, I’ve talked about a scenario where farmers in the same neighborhood produce the same kind of crop, in the same season, only to incur great losses as a result of oversupply.

And how else can they avoid such a scenario if all of them rely on rain-fed, open field cultivation?

Well, the only sustainable solution to this problem is greenhouse farming.

With a greenhouse, you can grow whenever and however you want. Whether it rains or doesn’t, whether it’s too cold or too hot, it doesn’t matter.

You can grow your vegetables during drier months of the year when the demand is very high and the supply is low. At this time you can charge as high as you wish for your produce.

In a nutshell, greenhouse farming gives you the power to create the necessary conditions that suit your choice of crops.

 

Protection from pest and diseases

At times pests and diseases can really be devastating. If you are not careful, you could end up losing as much as 100% of your produce.

If you’re careful on the other hand, you’ll spend a lot of your hard earned cash spending on pesticides and other pest management measures. I believe that as a serious agribusiness entrepreneur, your job is to minimize the cost of production as much as possible.

The only cost-effective way to achieve this is by making use of the greenhouse technology.

However, this doesn’t mean that there will be zero pests in the greenhouse, but, at least the prevalence will be lower as opposed to open field growing.

Basically, the whole idea behind greenhouse cultivation is creating a favorable environment for the plant growth. This ensures that you can manipulate things such as temperature and relative humidity.

Most pests thrive in specific temperatures in combination with relative humidity. By understanding this fact, you have the ability to create unfavorable conditions for the development of pests within the greenhouse.

Moreover, you will be able to protect your crop from harsh conditions such as extremely high or low temperature, strong winds, rainfall, and hail storms. Which means your crops grow stronger and healthy.

Related: 17 Reasons Why Your Agribusiness is Doomed!

 

Shorten growing period

The greenhouse cultivation shortens the growing period by over 25%. For example, if the normal growing period of some of your crops is 60 days under open-field, they will take only 45 days in the greenhouse.

Which means greenhouse farming enables you to produce much more within a year and make more money.

But how is this even possible?

It’s simple.

The growth and development of your crop depend on among other things, temperature and photoperiod.

Higher temperatures within the greenhouse increase the rate of plant respiration which means rapid growth. Additionally, the greenhouse polythene is made in such a way that it increases light intensity within the greenhouse.

This light intensity highly favors the growth of your plants.

 

Increase the yield per square unit

Yield is central to any successful agribusiness enterprise.

And yes, this point sums up everything I’ve been trying to explain above. Starting from growing throughout the year, protecting your crop from pests and diseases to shortening the growing period.

All these activities aim at increasing the yield per square unit.

It’s possible to increase yield by as much as 33% with greenhouse cultivation. The land utilization by this technology is nothing short of amazing. This efficient use of land (producing more in a small area) is what has encouraged and keeps encouraging urban farming.

You can comfortably construct a greenhouse in the urban setting and grow your high-value crops. Your proximity to a ready urban market will prove worthwhile in no time.

Related: What Most Agribusiness Experts Won’t Tell You

 

Ease of operations

Statistics shows that the average farmer is about 60 years old. When I first read this, I was utterly shocked. What this means is that the agribusiness industry is gradually aging and young people should take over.

But on the contrary, most youths are shying away from this multi-billion industry.

Why?

Partly the underpaying white collar jobs are more attractive or the agribusiness operations are just too strenuous to the lazy new generation. Well, if that’s the case, I get it.

But with greenhouse cultivation technology, you don’t have an excuse. There are possibilities to mechanize or computerize almost every operation in the greenhouse.

A good example is automated drip irrigation, temperature detectors, humidity sensors, timers and other states of the art accessories added in the greenhouse to make your work a breeze.

Working in the greenhouse isn’t difficult either. A well designed and planned greenhouse will enable you to carry out operations as if you are in your own house! What more could you wish for?

 

The greenhouse serves as a storage for your farm tools

Instead of cluttering your service area, backyard, garage or even your house with farm tools, why not store them in your greenhouse.

That is if you have one.

If you don’t, what are you waiting for?

A greenhouse is an all in one resource and is undoubtedly your only option if you want to succeed in agribusiness.

Related: How to Export Fresh Produce from Kenya

 

Conclusion

You know what I hate the most?

Procrastination and becoming an information junky which I’m very good at.

Not always, though.

Don’t take my example. Read just as much as you need to take action. You’ve just read why greenhouse farming is your only option to agribusiness greatness. Don’t stop there. Take action by committing yourself to building one.

Do you have any other benefits that you’ve experienced with greenhouse farming? Share them in the comments.

10 comments

  • Hi. Thank you for your inspiring post. Was great to read.

    My name is Anish and I’m writing from kathmandu, Nepal.

    Although I’m not a farmer by profession, I’ve always had a keen interest in growing my own veggies. I’ve had little knowledge about green house technology but have never dared to try. Well, as a father of two little ones and living in Kathmandu, there really is little if any choice but to try since quality of food produce is becoming largely questionable. At the same time, I figure I can help contribute to society in my own way while making an honest earning too.

    Here, we suffer from chronic power shostages. Load shedding hours can be anywhere between 9 to 12 hrs a day with some relief in between. Many use battery powered inverters & solar to light homes and diesel generators are common too.

    So my first question is, in a scenario where power from the grid is unreliable, is it possible to employ sensors and automated drip technology etc.? Or how can this be done?

    2. How do I begin?

    Would be grateful to get some inspiring feedback.

    Thanks.

    • David Speidel says:

      Anish Yes to your question, but even small amounts of water must be lifted. How high is the lift? To figure that how deep is your well or stream to the ground or bank and then how much higher is the field of the green house site?

  • Uchenna Okore says:

    What an inspiring post.i encourage farmers to have a green house mainly for vegetables.

  • Dr Raed Al-Asadi says:

    I really enjoyed reading your post.
    Linking the advantages of greenhouse with modern technologies to control most of the agriculture practices is very important point. Thanks for the post.

  • Samwel Onchere says:

    Thanks for the very encouraging remarks.
    I have always had big ideas to start a greenhouse for horticultural crops. But recently someone I trust told me she knows quite a number of persons who have tried but didn’t quite make it in the long run. I asked why but she told me that is it.
    Can you give some ideas as to why the venture can fail?

  • Eric Bjerregaard says:

    Too much hyperbole. Orchards and combines might not be practical.

  • Celestina Asena says:

    Great article.
    Are there green houses specific for certain agroecological zones?
    IN western kenya farmers are really challenged by diseases especialy on tomatoes and despite trying many different options have not yet made breakthrough. Could it be soils? varieties? choice of crop?
    Anyone who has made breakthrough??? please share your expereince.

  • ramon espinoza says:

    muy buenos comentarios algundia pondre uno en mi tierra.

  • If your looking at return on investment in relation to land area purchased for agriculture the greenhouse is very hard to go past, especially with agricultural land with water in some areas reaching $16/acre.

  • Jdjdjdkd says:

    From a young farmer, do more research. This article honestly makes no sense. There are applications for greenhouses, and not everything fits. A greenhouse makes it hotter and extends growing seasons for certain crops, shortens others.

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