Vegetable production is an economic activity not only for the farmer but also the consumer because we use vegetables every day in our households.
According to the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research, Ghana has the potential to become Africa’s leader in tomato production, if we expand greenhouse farming. (Myjoyonline)
Greenhouse vegetable farming is one ideal way to ensure optimum yields of a variety of vegetables grown in the country.
What is Greenhouse Vegetable Farming?
Greenhouse vegetable farming is the type of farming in which vegetable crops are grown in built structures (wood, plastic, metal and net). Types of vegetables grown in a greenhouse include cucumbers, sweet pepper, lettuce and tomatoes. These vegetable are the most profitable due to its high consumption in the country.
Why consider Greenhouse Vegetable Farming?
- It requires a small land area for production.
- A greenhouse protects the crops against adverse weather conditions, pests and diseases.
- There are an easy temperature control and practice of IPM ideal for production
- A greenhouse ensures higher yields and improved quality of vegetables.
- There is an efficient use of resources such as water and nutrients.
- The greenhouse can last longer and it is highly profitable.
Factors to consider when setting up a greenhouse
An ideal location for a greenhouse is where the light intensity is high, temperatures are mild, and atmospheric humidity is moderate. Such environment is good for crop growth.
Type of Greenhouse/Construction:
This is mostly dependent on the owner’s capital and other available resources. A greenhouse can be classified according to the type of materials used in its construction. This can either be a low-cost greenhouse, a semi-tech or a high-tech greenhouse. Low-cost greenhouses are usually constructed with wood/net with no control components. A semi-tech is usually constructed with metals with net and plastic coverings with some control components. In high-tech greenhouses, crops are raised in a fully controlled environment (temperature, humidity etc.).
We shall be talking more about greenhouse structures and construction in subsequent posts.
Source of water:
Having an available and good source of water will ensure all year round production.
Type of crop:
This is largely dependent on the available market as well as consumer preference. The crops you grow can be greenhouse crops or open field crops which also do well in a greenhouse.
Before one decides to enter into production, it is advisable to undertake a simple market survey to ensure the type of crop in need. Also, have a cropping schedule that always meets market demand.
This is by way of introduction to the series on greenhouse vegetable production. We shall bring you all you need to know about greenhouse farming from construction to all production procedures. Don’t miss out. Subscribe to receive update notifications on subsequent posts.