The Agricultural Service Training Centre(ASTC) in Plateau state has trained some farmers in the production of improved variety of vegetables preparatory to go into double season cropping to address increasing demand of vegetables in the state.
The General Manager of ASTC Mr. Oren Shaked, who made this known, said that the ASTC, through its greenhouse project in the state has trained some farmers on the use of improved tomato and other vegetable varieties for production through the wet season using the greenhouse style.
Shaked confirmed to NaijaAgroNet that one can grow anything in a greenhouse and at any time of the year, noting that if tomato is grown in the greenhouse during the rainy season it can sell at a very high price because it is scarce in the market.
He said one can also reduce to a minimum the use of chemicals in the greenhouse because the plants are protected from insects thereby requiring very little insecticide or fungicide, adding that a lot of consumers today look for organic crops that are grown without the use of fertilizer and chemicals.
“The climate under the greenhouse is being controlled, crops grown in the house are better than those grown in the open field and during the harmattan or dry season, the nights are very cold but in the greenhouses it is hot, the temperature is being controlled so you can get better crops,” he said.
NaijaAgroNet gathered that even though greenhouses provide better and improved ways of crop production especially to local irrigation farmers whose vegetables are exposed to harsh climatic conditions as well as pests and diseases, some of the farmers nevertheless see this advanced system of farming as mere fancy which is incapable of upstaging the conventional farming system.
“We also harvest all those strawberries, cherry tomatoes that the White people harvest in their greenhouse but we don’t cover the place because you will be putting a farmer in difficulty if you ask him to go into that system because he won’t be able to afford it,” a farmer said.
*With additional report from Daily Trust
pix: Gov David Jang of Plateau state