Greenhouse farming is a type of farming that involves crops cultivation in closed and protected structures. The structure called a greenhouse is closed on top with glass or polythene cover while the sides may be closed with nets, glass or polythene.
Greenhouse farming enables farmers to cultivate their crops under climatic conditions that can be altered with the use of technology. With greenhouse farming, farmers can grow their crops whilst keeping pests and diseases away. Greenhouses farming improve the ability of the farmer to control pests and diseases.
Greenhouse farming also enables farmers to grow crops they would ordinarily not grow in the open field because of the climate, season or pests and diseases. For example, blueberry which is a temperate crop can be grown in hot tropical areas with the use of climate controlled greenhouses.
Risk of Greenhouse Farming
The following are the risks of greenhouse farming in Nigeria:
Risk of outbreak of diseases and pests
Greenhouses are known to reduce the risk of plants getting diseases or being affected by pests. This is not always the case, as a matter of fact, because of the intensive nature of farming in greenhouses; there can be an increase in risk of disease outbreak.
The increased plant population and close plants’ spacing in greenhouses can significantly increase the risk of diseases and pests.
Pesticides should be used o mitigate this risk.
Erratic Power Supply
The erratic power supply can pose a risk for greenhouse farming in Nigeria. A sezure in power supply can wreck havoc to plants housed in an electricity powered greenhouse.
Some greenhouses are powered with electricity. The electricity is used to power the greenhouse fans, temperature regulators and irrigation systems etc.
An alternative power supply to the public grid should be provided.
EC/Nutrient Level Spikes
The Electrical conductivity level may be normal when the nutrients solution is made but after fertigating the solution to the plants, the EC level may spike.
This problem occurs often in greenhouses and it is one of the risks a greenhouse farmer has to face.
The EC/nutrient levels should be checked intermittently.
Inadequate water supply can pose a risk to greenhouse farming in Nigeria. The quality of water supplied to the greenhouse can also be a risk.
The water should be clean and free of harmful substances that can be detrimental to the health and growth of the plants.
A good source of water should be used.
Poor Access to Skilled Workers
There is a skill gap in greenhouse farming in Nigeria. It is very difficult to get a highly skilled greenhouse farmer or one who is knowledgeable about greenhouse farming in Nigeria. A lot of greenhouses in Nigeria have been abandoned because of lack of experts.
Experts should be engaged for greenhouse farming work.
What risks do you face in your greenhouse? Kindly share your experiences with us in the comments’ section.