Greenhouse Farming in Nigeria
August 28, 2017, 7:56 am
A greenhouse is a building with glass sides and a glass roof in which plants that need protection from or are sensitive to weather are grown. A greenhouse is different from a typical farm which consists of an area of land used for growing crops or keeping animals.
Greenhouses are enclosed spaces used for growing crops only. Greenhouses make it possible to regulate the temperature and humidity of an enclosed space therefore making it possible for certain crops to grow and thrive regardless of the external weather conditions.
Greenhouse farming in Nigeria
Greenhouse farming in Nigeria is the business of working on and managing the growing of crops and plants inside a greenhouse. Greenhouse farming technology makes it possible to grow tropical crops (pineapples, tomatoes, peppers) in the cold regions of Russia and France. And in the reverse direction, temperate crops (apples, cabbages, blackberries) can also be grown in hot regions of Nigeria, Dubai and Israel using greenhouse farming technology.
Greenhouse farming is very profitable and has become very popular in countries like Netherland, Belgium, New Zealand, and Germany etc. For instance, Netherland have over 3,000 greenhouse companies that operate over 9,000 hectares of greenhouses and employ some 150,000 workers producing €7.2 billion worth of vegetables, fruits, plants and flowers.
Greenhouse farming is gradually finding its footing in Nigeria too. For example, Taraba State is in the process of setting up a very large greenhouse farm which is going to employ over 300 youths. Also, many individuals and private organizations are embracing greenhouse farming in Nigeria.
Advantages of Greenhouse Farming
There are many advantages of growing crops and plants in a greenhouse. Some of these advantages are:
- Plants are protected from unfavorable weather conditions that affect their growth
- Plant environment are better managed to reduce the harmful effect of pest and diseases
- Plants can be grown and made available throughout the year
- Plants and crop can be grown in commercial quantities in urban areas or in the city
- Improved harvest and production yields due to better management and control of plant environment
Greenhouse Construction in Nigeria
In greenhouses, three considerations which are very critical to the growth and development of plants: ventilation, the amount of light that gets through to the plants and retaining the heat generated from the ground. These considerations determine the choice or type of materials used to construct a greenhouse.
As a result of these considerations, two materials are majorly used in greenhouse construction: Glass and Plastics (Moldable Polymers).
Glass has a higher light transmission value (97% to 98%) compared to plastics (80% to 96%) so a glass greenhouse allows more light to get to the plants. However, light passing through plastic diffuses therefore making light penetrate more areas of the greenhouse.
Plastics are lighter than glass so they require less construction work and materials when used for greenhouses. Although plastics like twin-wall polycarbonate (TWP) can be more expensive than glass, they are more durable and last longer.
Also, plastics have a good thermal insulation value (R) which makes them suitable for retaining the ground-generated heat inside the greenhouse.
To cater for proper ventilation in greenhouse farming, the greenhouses are oriented so that the vents are open towards the direction of prevailing wind flow of the greenhouse site or location.
Types of Greenhouse
Based on the type of material and automation processes involved, greenhouses can be classified or grouped into three main types:
Domestic: This type of greenhouse is built using glass, usually of 3mm thickness, which is known as Dutch Light or Horticultural glass grade. It’s the cheapest type of greenhouse.
Plastics: This type of greenhouse is built using moldable polymer materials such as polyethylene (or polyethene) film or polycarbonate materials. It is more durable than the domestic greenhouse.
Commercial: This type of greenhouse is a full-service, stand-alone unit with built in screening, heating, cooling and lighting equipment that can be remotely controlled via a mobile device or computer. An example of such a unit is Freight Farm’s hydroponic tank. This type of greenhouse is the most expensive.
Cost of building a greenhouse in Nigeria
You can choose to build a greenhouse farm in Nigeria instead of purchasing a commercial greenhouse. The type of greenhouse you can build in this case are the Plastic type using polyethene material and steel frames. You can also build Plastic greenhouses with wooden frame. Building or constructing your greenhouse gives you flexibility because you can build according to the size of land you have. It's also less costly when you construct or build your greenhouse. Building a local plastic greenhouse in Nigeria with a dimension of 10 meters by 25 meters (250 square meters) will cost you a minimum of N1,800,000.
If you would like to start greenhouse farming in Nigeria and you need a greenhouse farming business plan or consultation service, please send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
With our greenhouse farming business plan, you will learn:
- The different greenhouse sizes available and the materials required to build them
- The different fruits and vegetables you can grow in the greenhouse and their yields
- The cost of building and constructing a greenhouse based on the size you want
- Profit and loss estimates for the first three years of running one unit of greenhouse
- Vegetable and fruit market analysis in Nigeria
- Marketing and sales strategy for running a successful greenhouse in Nigeria
- Personnel required to operate your greenhouse, key milestones and so much more!