As the country continues to grow faster than food produced, greenhouse technology was again identified as the fastest way to reduce the food gap.
Unlike their counterparts in East African countries, where the greenhouse method is fully embraced, Nigerian farmers are lagging behind in adopting a modern farming system, which, according to experts, ensures year-round production and increased yields.
On Dizengoff Farmers Day Field Day, held at the Greenhouse Farmer’s Site of Best Foods Nigeria Ltd., Epe, to familiarize the public with Greenhouse innovations, the company’s Chief Executive Officer and Country Manager Mr. Antti Ritvonen said the technology is aimed at providing farmers with year-round technology to produce and increase crop yields such as tomato, pepper, cucumber and sweet melons.
“This is a method that provides a steady income for the farmer, as well as the transfer of knowledge about how to improve the quality of their products, reduce local losses and ensure higher returns for their investments.
"Farmers can return their investments in 12 months, because it can provide 30 times more yield than on the same square meter in an open field farm, and will not be dominated by the rainy or dry season, because you can always continue to grow your crops in the greenhouse.
Investing in a greenhouse in Nigeria is profitable and great that farmers can return their investments in 12 months or 18 months. ”
Ritvonen explained that although the demand for vegetables in the country exceeds 2.3 million metric tons per year, it is capable of producing only about 1.8 million metric tons.
The greenhouse technologies he presented “are a potentially very viable option that can narrow this gap.”
He further explained that Dizengoff Greenhouse is a complete package that comes with hybrid seeds, fertilizers, chemicals, training, and an agronomist who will help manage greenhouses with the best yield.
Ritvonen, at the same time instructing financial institutions and governments at all levels to help farmers achieve sufficient food value, says that young people need an understanding of what modern agriculture is.
Emmanuel Izhevar, Chairman of Best Foods, expressed regret that currently there are only 4,000 greenhouse units in Nigeria, of which about 50 percent do not work because they were purchased and installed by the government, compared to Kenya, which has more than 172 000 greenhouses