Greenhouse farming in Kenya is a type of farming where plants are grown in a covered structure with a net-like material is used on the walls and roof made chiefly of transparent material, such as glass, PVC paper for ventilation purposes. The greenhouse aims at controlling the weather conditions such as sunlight, temperature, rainfall that determine crop productivity etc. The greenhouse brings immunity towards the weather instability.
Greenhouse farming has been adopted in Kenya and has become very popular in different areas of the country. The country regards agriculture as the readily available economic activity and means of wealth creation, easily adopts any new and efficient method of farming. Most Kenyans depend on agriculture as their source of income. This explains why many Kenyans have invested in greenhouse farming. Greenhouses are often used for growing flowers, vegetables, fruits, and transplants.
Temperatures and humidity are the two essential factors that affect plant growth and productivity. Most farmers make little profit due to inability to manage the two factors. Greenhouse temperatures are;
â€¢ Below 13 degrees Celsius and above 30 degrees Celsius in the case of dry air or
â€¢ Higher than 30 to 35 degrees Celsius in cases of high air.
Greenhouse tomatoes, pepper and eggplant uitable temperatures should be 15 to 30 degrees Celsius and not beyond 35 degrees Celsius. During the day, the temperatures should be maintained at around 16 to 30 degrees Celsius and 13 to 18 degrees Celsius during the night.
For you to set up a successful greenhouse,the steps below will guide you;
â€¢ Determine the crops you prefer and the size of your operation
â€¢ Research on the size of your local market
â€¢ Learn the legislation surrounding this form of agriculture
â€¢ Design the greenhouse
Glasshouse doors and sides should be open from 8am to 5pm for ventilation and be closed at night to reduce heat loss. Areas with low temperatures are not conducive for greenhouses with only insect nets on the walls. Such areas include Mt. Kenya Region,highlands of Kericho, Mau Narok and Molo. However, they may have positive effects in hot and warm areas such as Garissa, Machakos, Mombasa, Kitui and Kisumu.
The cost of starting a greenhouse in Kenya you will have to invest an average amount Ksh. 120,000 which may gather up to Ksh. 1.2 million annually. The greenhouse polythene costs Ksh. 150,000 in Kenya ad the government miniature greenhouse go for as low as Ksh. 40,000
Kenya owns several successful greenhouse companies being an agricultural country.
Some of the successful greenhouse companies in the country include:
â€¢ Amiran Company, Nairobi (0719095000)
â€¢ Illuminium Greenhouses Kenya, Nairobi (0732613501)
â€¢ Kisumu Greenhouse Constructors and Agronomist (0723053026)
â€¢ Greenhouse Kenya, Kisumu (0723053026).