Greenhouse farming has been practiced in Kenya for quite some time now but it’s not until recently that most Kenyans have started realizing the great benefits of practicing greenhouse farming.
And it’s cool too. University graduates, fresh out of campus are soiling their hands in this business and they are not afraid of bragging about it.
Because it brings in the six figures. Something that would have taken them years to accomplish if they were seated behind a desk.
So, if you are there seated at home unemployed, or just bored out of your mind with your current job and are looking for a great business opportunity then you are in luck.
Let me introduce to you greenhouse farming and its many benefits.
You have probably seen this greenhouse structures at one time or another but your curiosity wasn’t piqued that much, probably because you thought it was just some other ordinary farming.
No, you are wrong. Greenhouse farming is no ordinary farming. It’s the latest ‘iPhone’ in farming.
And here’s why
*It produces a higher yield per acre*
With just a small piece of land you are bound to produce more crop yield compared to outdoors farming.
Small greenhouses of 8 metres by 15 metres in size have been known to produce about 2,000 – 3,000 kilos of tomatoes. And going by the market price of tomatoes at Ksh.100 per kilo you are guaranteed not less than Ksh.200,000 per harvest!
*It keeps pests and harsh weather at Bay*
Greenhouse farming is controlled farming under a structure. This structure will protect your crops from wind, heavy rainfall, too much sunlight etc. Remember harsh weather and pests are the greatest enemies of crops.
Crops cultivated under a greenhouse mature faster than the ones grown outdoors. A good example is tomatoes. Tomatoes in a greenhouse will only take 60 days to mature while the ones grown outdoors take as long as 90 days.
*Higher shelf life for crops*
Still using tomatoes as an example, you will find that tomatoes grown in a greenhouse will have a shelf life of 21 days while the ones grown outdoors will have a shelf life of 14 days.
Now that you have known the advantages of growing crops in a greenhouse let’s take a step further and delve into a few essential requirements needed plus the cost of setting up a greenhouse.
Just like any other venture, you need to do your research well before setting up a greenhouse.
First of all you will need a bit of knowledge on greenhouse farming. Like I said earlier, this is no ordinary farming, therefore you need to approach it a bit differently.
Luckily there are a few courses that you can partake. Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) has very good tutorials and courses on this. Invest a bit of your time and money to learn.
And if you are going to employ some staff, then you need to teach them too. You don`t want your grand business venture being ruined by lack of basic know-how.
Secondly, you need to have clear details of your farm. What’s your soil quality? How far is your farm from a water source? You wouldn’t want to start a greenhouse very far from a water source unless you have some cheap ways of transporting the water to your farm. You should also determine the quality of your soil so that you know what minerals it has and what it lacks.
Let’s now assume that you have details of your farm and basic knowledge of greenhouse farming and are ready to start shopping.
Since land is scarce in Kenya, we will focus on the small greenhouse (8 metres by 15 metres)
This greenhouse costs between Ksh.150,000 and Ksh.200,000 for a fully equipped one that comes together with a water tank, plastic sheet, irrigation drip lines, seeds and chemicals.
You can also purchase these things separately especially if you have cheaper alternatives.
Crops that work better in greenhouses
Like I had mentioned earlier, assuming you are growing tomatoes in a small green house you are bound to harvest 2,000 kilos of tomatoes in 2 months. If a kilo of tomatoes goes for Ksh.100, then you will be raking in Ksh.200,000 after every two months which translates to a whooping 1.2 million a year!
Good heavens! Isn’t that great for just one green house?
Remember, the sky is the limit. You can grow your agribusiness with time and invest in more greenhouses. Which means more profits.
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