Plastic mulch technology has been used to cut down production cost significantly as it effectively suffocates the weeds and reduces cost of labour and herbicide use.
Farmers in very dry areas with little rainfall are advised to employ this concept for effective moisture retention and weed management. The technology works with drip irrigation or other irrigation methods.
Most farmers have reported significant increase in crop production irrespective of the quality of plastic film used for mulching and the practice is common with short season crops such as tomato, cabbage, maize and cucumbers, and other vegetables as well as in berries production.
Also, since the ground is covered, the technology controls soil erosion as no splashing of water occurs, thus invariably also minimising the spread of diseases from one crop to the other.
Before putting the plastic film in place, the land should be thoroughly ploughed and harrowed to make the soil texture fine to have a good tilth suitable for making seed beds.
Uniformly compacted and fertile beds should then be formed manually or by a tractor and should be well moistened, and then fully covered using plastic film and left to last throughout the production season.
A point to note however is that farmers must ensure that the right amount of moisture is applied to the soil before wrapping it, and irrigation should only be targeted to the spot where it is needed. World Bank, FG Team Inspect FADAMA Projects In Anambra
Farmers also need to exercise caution when making holes for planting so as to ensure the spacing corresponds carefully with the type of crop he/she hopes to plant.