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Greenhouse Farming in Kenya

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Greenhouse farming in Kenya refers to the growing of crops in either metallic or wooden structures covered with poly film to achieve a uniform and vigorous growth. Greenhouse technology involves microclimate to retain warmth and desired humidity necessary for plant vigor and growth. Greenhouse farming combines technology and practices to enhance the growth and good performance of cultivated plants. Kenyan farmers have adopted this new farming technology to eliminate the challenges faced by ordinary farming methods. The challenges in outdoor farming include; drought, wind, insects, rain, insecurity, and leaching. Greenhouse technology encompasses precise, accurate, and measurable practices that cushions farmers against losses. Some of the advantages of greenhouses include; high yield, faster growth, and early maturity.  Many farmers in Kenya have adopted greenhouse farming to raise hybrid plant varieties like vegetables and flowers. The high cost associated with greenhouse installation has been a contributing factor in terms of large-scale greenhouse farming. Most of the greenhouses built in Kenya are small to medium size ventures.

Kenya views agriculture as a readily available business opportunity, a wealth creation source well as a source of food for livelihoods. The desire for efficient farming methods, higher yield, and cultivation of high-value crops has prompted Kenyan farmers to adopt greenhouse farming in most parts of the country. Kenyan farmers have appreciated the benefits associated with greenhouse farming as compared to ordinary farming practices. The greenhouse business has proven as a quick and easy venture to mint cash. The quality and size of greenhouse produce have high competitiveness in the market as compared to outdoor counterparts. Another interesting part of the greenhouse produce is the increased shelf life and attractiveness. Generally, vegetables grown in a greenhouse are tender, sweet, and taste well compared to the ordinary grown ones. The same applies to flowers under the greenhouse as they maintain their aroma, fresh look, and quality. Farmer group training and the availability of information regarding greenhouse practices are some of the factors that have led to the adoption of greenhouse farming in Kenya.

Kenyan has a unique pattern of starting greenhouse farming by starting on a small scale and expanding gradually expanding to commercial or large scale. It is estimated that the near future will see nearly all farmers and newcomers adopting greenhouse farming technology. Kenya enjoys readily available technical know-how on greenhouse installation and maintenance. Several companies have competent staff handling installation, maintenance, and agronomic services to enable farmers to get the latest on greenhouse farming. Our company is one of the leading service providers in terms of greenhouse installation and maintenance. The staff is trained in different areas such as agronomy, information technology, administration, marketing, and customer relation. Our company has installed more than 800 greenhouses in various regions of the country and other parts of Congo, Tanzania, Uganda, and Sudan. Huge farmer acceptance of greenhouse technology among Kenyan farmers has been a secret behind the success of our company.

Farmers are advised to consider several factors before venturing into greenhouse farming. Availability of the market should be ascertained to enable greenhouse farmers to be able to sell their produce without losses due to excess supply. Farmers should also survey the neighboring markets to sell their produce in case of excess supply in local markets. Farmers should also consider the demand for various crops before cultivation. Crops with high demand should be prioritized while choosing which crop to plant. High-value crops like tomatoes and capsicum have been a great deal for Kenyan greenhouse farmers due to higher market demand. Due to the limited space associated with greenhouses, the choice of crop should consider the maximization of the limited space. Farmers should also consider local authority regulations to avoid problems like relocation or deviance from local legislation. The Source of water is another factor to consider before installing a greenhouse. Irrigation water should be clean and fresh free from salt and impurities. The type of greenhouse constructed should take into consideration the available capital. Wooden greenhouses are cheaper and easy to construct than metallic ones.

Greenhouse farming is profitable business is the players are dedicated in the entire process. Having competent staff ensures that installation and cultural practices are done as required to achieve good results. Choice of right seeds and varieties is key in greenhouse farming. A well structured nutrition and crop protection plan ensures that the crop suffers no damages as a result of diseases, disorders or pests. Harvesting at the right time ensure that the produce is delivered to the market while fresh. Trained staff enhances practice of good agricultural methods to enable produce traceability.

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