With imported greenhouses designed to help farmers produce quality and increase yield selling for about N3 million, a young entrepreneur and Co-Founder, PS Nutraceuticals, Samson Ogbole, has found a cheaper option with low cost ones constructed with bamboo.The aim is to encourage more Nigerians with little money to be involved in profitable farming. DANIEL ESSIET reports.
Most businesses in agriculture in Nigeria use greenhouses to grow crops.
They use green houses to manipulate the growing conditions of crops to produce the optimum quality and yield.
Indeed, massive greenhouses are used to grow peppers in light conditions, enabling farmers to reduce the growing season by four weeks.
In Nigeria and parts of Africa, farmers are using greenhouses to grow most out-of-season crops during rainy season and at a time of year when they can’t be grown outdoors.
These include tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, lettuce, basil, and others which command high prices in some markets.
But not all farmers can afford it. A standard modern greenhouse costs between N2 to N3 million. It is expensive because it is constructed with materials such as polycarbonate panels, greenhouse film and corrugated plastic.
Co-Founder, PS Nutraceuticals ,SamsonOgbole has been a prominent figure on the farming scene since he and his partner established his demo farm in Ogun State. He is a proponent of technology driven agriculture. After trying a variety of growing techniques on a smaller scale, he began commercially growing some crops,including fresh produce.
He researched the cost of constructing a standard greenhouse that would offer a more controlled environment in which to farm, but found the start-up costs prohibitive for small scale farmers.
After trials, Ogbole has found a cheap option. A greenhouse made of bamboo and other cheap and locally available materials.
Though built from local materials, Ogbole explained that he has driven down costs with a low cost greenhouse that can control temperature, humidity and soil moisture.
At N300,000,a bamboo greenhouse is much cheaper than the commercial greenhouse that costs as much as N2 million.
With bamboo and locally available and inexpensive materials, Ogbole can construct a 400-square-meter greenhouse for the production of high-value vegetables.
Vegetable varieties that can be planted in bamboo greenhouse include pumpkin, tomato, sweet pepper, and spinach.
The other advantage is that the bamboo–structured greenhouse can last up to five years or longer, giving enough time for farmers to maximise production and increase their profit.
One of his plans is to promote the bamboo greenhouse technology, making it a model for high-value vegetable production.
Apart from making a profit, Ogbole believes low cost greenhouses would create business opportunities for young people and adults going into agro business ventures.