Greenhouse farming in Uganda has been welcomed by a lot of farmers especially those that are into growing perishable crops. A greenhouse is an enclosed structure where crops are grown. It is used to grow perishable crops in harsh weather conditions and it protects the plants from pests and diseases.
Types of Greenhouses in Uganda
The types of greenhouse are classified into three categories and these depend on the material that is being used for construction. The three categories of greenhouse include the following:
A commercial greenhouse
This is the most expensive type of greenhouse and it is a fully functional house with lighting equipment, heating, screening and cooling with a standalone structure. It is the best type especially for those that are into large scale farming.
A domestic greenhouse is constructed using a type of glass that is known as the horticulture glass grade and it has a thickness of about 3mm. It is cheap when it comes to construction and is good for all types of farming.
Known to be more durable than the domestic greenhouse, it is constructed using polythene and other polymer materials.
Components of a greenhouse
As earlier on noted, there are different types of greenhouses that are used and while others have components, there are those that do not have them. The components of a greenhouse have been listed and explained below:
The greenhouse cover is what is used to cover the greenhouse structure and it helps in protecting the crops from the bad weather. The covers always have a light penetration of about 80% to 90% and they are either made from plastic or glass.
a mister is used to provide humidity to the crops in the greenhouse when the humidity is low. When the humidity is low, the crops are greatly affected in a bad way and this is why a mister is necessary in a greenhouse.
Iron rods and pipes
although some people construct greenhouses using PVC pipes or wood, steep pipes and iron rods generally it easy to construct the greenhouse. They are used to make the frame of the greenhouse and this means that it is impossible to construct the greenhouse without the rods.
this is an important component of a greenhouse although there are some greenhouses that do not have them. The drip irrigation helps in watering the plants.
a greenhouse structure blocks out all the insects, even those that will help out in pollination and farmers are supposed to somehow help with the pollination of the crops. There are two ways that you can use to help with the pollination without introducing harmful insects to the crops and these are through spraying and introduction of bees into the greenhouse. Some farmers spray chemicals on the crops and these help the crops to self-pollinate. You can also introduce bees into the house to ensure that pollination takes place.
Crops that can be grown in greenhouses in Uganda
The crops that can be grown in greenhouses in Uganda include tomatoes, passion fruits, cucumbers, coriander, eggplants, garden eggs, pepper and Aubergines among others. They can also act as a nursery for some plants before they are transferred to the main garden.
How to start greenhouse farming in Uganda
Location of the greenhouse: a good site or location depends on the type of crops that you are going to grow in your greenhouse. While some people prefer having their greenhouses in the rural areas, others prefer urban Centres because it is cheaper when it comes to transporting the produce after harvesting.
Check out the water and soil
after selecting your preferred site for the greenhouse, check out the soil and water in the area especially if you are planning on planting directly into the ground. Make sure that there is enough water for the crops and if the soil does not have pathogens that will cause harm to the crops.
Construction of a greenhouse
this is the last step in starting a greenhouse but it is better if you ask the experts on what you need and the type of greenhouse that will work for your crops. Getting a greenhouse in Uganda does not come cheap and no one should tell you otherwise and this is where the experts come in.
do extensive research on the crops that you plan on growing in the greenhouse. There is a ready market for most of the crops grown but it is better that you look for a market before you venture out in planting what you have in mind.
Advantages of Greenhouse Farming
It protects crops from bad weather conditions, diseases and pests.
Greenhouses do not need a lot of land to be set up.
There is a high chance of getting high returns from a greenhouse as compared to open garden farming.
There is efficiency in greenhouse farming as compared to open gardens.
Disadvantages of Greenhouse Farming
It is extremely expensive to construct.
Greenhouse farming in Uganda can be profitable but only if you take care of it perfectly. Even though it is expensive to start (construction of the greenhouse), the yields got from the crops are worth the risk.