7 Things to Consider Before Starting Greenhouse Farming
We have seen that agribusiness is gaining a lot of popularity in Kenya and Africa as a whole. More youth are getting into this sector and embracing modern ways of farming. One of these is greenhouse farming. Greenhouse farming is popular since it allows all year farming. Moreover, there is hope of making good returns from this venture.
Unlike open-field farming, greenhouses provide good air circulation and controls harsh weather conditions such as sunlight and wind. This offers your crops some immunity to these weather conditions Click To Tweet.
Some of the crops you can plant in a greenhouse are tomatoes, capsicums, and herbs like basil among others.
Here are some of the considerations to make before starting greenhouse farming:
Dig deep and wide for information. Find all the relevant information about the pros and cons of setting up a greenhouse. Make a decision based on this information.
- Choose the crop wisely
Look for high yielding seeds. Find the ones that are resistant to pests & diseases and have a longer shelf life. All this information should come up as you are doing your research in number 1 above. Choose a crop that has ready market and that you can sell easily. In addition to this, as a strategy, you may choose to avoid crops that are available in your area and enjoy a monopoly.
Related: Pests & Diseases Affecting Tomatoes
- Cost of setting up the greenhouse
Setting up a greenhouse can be expensive. Raising the funds needed to set one up is a major challenge. Shop around and find out what type you wish to buy. There are different types in the market e.g. those made from steel or wood. Even the type of cover may vary in type and cost. Some suppliers offer a full package i.e. greenhouse, water tank, drip lines, installation and customer support. Weigh your options carefully and insist on seeing a demo before purchasing anything.
- Source of water
Greenhouses use the drip irrigation system for watering crops. Make sure that you have a good source of water that can sustain a whole season of farming. Have a strong sizeable tank. You can also engage in Water Harvesting as a way of saving water.
- Customer support
Support will come from attending trainings, farm visits & tours and agronomists. Engaging an agronomist may cost you a few extra coins but is worthwhile. You get personalized advice relating to your farm. Attend trainings, farm visits & tours with your staff so as to get fresh ideas and polish on existing ones.
- Soil Test
Before starting your farming journey, we recommend that you perform a soil test on your soil. This is to determine what your soil needs to be productive. After doing a soil test, prepare the land with the recommendations provided from the results. Read here why Soil Testing is important in farming.
Some farmers wait until it is harvest time to start sourcing for market. This may result into post-harvest loss and cause you significant losses. Look for market for your produce well in advance to avoid last minute rush and disappointments. Here is a great article on how you can Market your Produce digitally and enjoy the fruits of your hard work. Also, read how to Add Value to your Produce and find tips on how to prevent post-harvest loss and make the most of your produce.
In conclusion, modern ways of farming keep emerging and changing. Greenhouse farming is one of the profitable ones. But like everything else, it has its pros and cons. Make a decision wisely.