Hosa GreenHouse set to achieve all-year-round tomato production

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So far, only a few Nigerians have embraced a greenhouse, perhaps because of its cost. But today, Wells Hosa GreenHouse Farm Limited, located in the state of Edo, is showing the way for year-round farming in Nigeria.

Wells Hosa GreenHouse, owned by Captain Idahose Wells Okunbor (retd), last month, began her first harvest of her greenhouse tomato farm in Benin.

The greenhouse farm offers year-round farming, but the costs of its installation, as well as its maintenance, remain major problems for many farmers.

Many of these farms previously created in the country were falsified, in part because of maintenance, and this is of great concern if the technology truly becomes a name in the country.

Chairman of Wells GreenHouse, Captain Okunbor, told the Daily Trust on Sunday that the greenhouse was the culmination of a dream that had long been in his heart.

He said: “Like a little boy who grew up in Benin several decades ago, the clear image of agriculture, which is a common means of livelihood, was a significant picture that took root in my mind. Today, technological Wells Hosa GreenHouse Farms is a project embodied in this mental picture. ”

Okunbor said the farm will provide year-round tomato production for the national market.

Wells Hosa GreenHouse Farms, the Daily Trust gathered on Sunday, is a pioneering project based on hydroponic technology (the method of growing plants in controlled environments, the use of mineral nutrients in water, not soil).

“The farm includes various systems integrated by irrigation, fertilization and pest control to ensure optimal plant growth and higher yields compared to traditional open field methods.

“Well Hosa GreenHouse is the first of its kind in Nigeria, and it is at the forefront of innovation in food security and employment,” Okunbor said.

The Sunday Trust gathered on Sunday that Wells Hosa GreenHouse stands on 27 hectares of land with green living space for 28 hydroponic greenhouses: 5440 square meters each.

The farm, which it has collected more, has an estimated production value of 4,200 tons per year, as well as a projected and projected income of $ 5 million. US per year.

Okunborg said that the farm will employ 500 people at full capacity, and indirectly attracts thousands of young people and women who will produce many types of vegetables for local consumption, as well as exports.

He said that Nigeria produced 1.8 million tons of tomatoes annually, but after harvest, about 0.7 million metric tons were lost.

“It is estimated that Nigeria imports tomatoes worth $ 360 million a year. Thus, we still have a lot of work to do to ensure self-sufficiency and import substitution, while the dollar flows through exports, ”he added.

He said the farm was created to help revolutionize the tomato industry in Nigeria and affect the entire agricultural sector.

“In 2000, Mexico had 790 hectares of greenhouses and increased to 25,251 hectares in 2016, with a growth trend of about 1,200 hectares per year,” adding that “in 2017 Mexico’s agri-food sector reached record levels in exports, earning an income the amount of 32.6 billion dollars.

“Today, modern agriculture is immersed in the economic process of globalization, which cannot be ignored. Therefore, it is necessary to introduce new technologies that allow us to increase productivity, get better products, achieve self-sufficiency and gain access to international markets with higher prices.

“Taking into account our first fruit harvest, we intend to replicate our scalable and modular production model in other states of the country in order to meet both domestic and export demand for horticultural products and increase non-oil exports in the international market.

“At the stages of our concept, we identified problems in the agri-food sector, including poor transportation of goods from the northern part of the country to the south, as well as product loss due to inefficient packaging and storage facilities,” he said.

Today, Wells Hosa GreenHouse is abundantly equipped to meet the need to move products from Edo state to the rest of the country.

Speaking during the first harvest from the farm, State Minister for Agriculture Senator Heineken Lokpobiri said that the federal government approved greenhouse facilities in the country to increase food production.

Lokpobiri said: “Before the administration of President Muhammad Bihari, agriculture was viewed as a government program, but with the Wells Hos GreenHus farm, Nigerians realize the importance of agriculture not only as an investment, but also as a business.”

For his part, the executive director / chief executive officer of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Shogun Avolovo, said that the greenhouse project is an initiative created in accordance with an acceptable standard for export.

According to him, the green house will ensure the production of tomatoes all year round in the country, and also exports to other countries of the world.

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