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GAITI: Greenhouse farming is solution to land fragmentation and unemployment

 When you hear about agriculture what comes to your mind? When many youths hear about agriculture, they picture their grandfather's holding jembes or their fathers struggling in a farm.

 A greenhouse at Wambugu farm. Photo/MAURICE KYALO

But agriculture has developed as the government has been working effortlessly to renovate the sector and to change the mindsets of many Kenyan youth who are horrified by unemployment rates in Kenya.

Not only is government encouraging agriculture but also the media. The media is paying attention to agriculture such that it is advising youths on importance's of agriculture by putting up agricultural programmes. The media has covered many agricultural shows and it has also brought into limelight successful farmers.

Wambugu farm is one of the known agricultural farms in our country. It offers free education to entrepreneurs and young farmers who are willing to start agriculture.  Many companies bring exhibitions to showcase them to other farmers so that they can improve their farming methods.

In his farm many farming activities and their preferred technologies are displayed and for each, they provide a showcase of what can be done to improve and obtain high quality products.

Many people see greenhouse as an agriculture technology that require training and more skilfull   personnel but that's not case since it is easy to maintain one once you understand how it works.

Successful farmer

Stephen Gaiti a great and successful farmer in Amiran Company Limited who attended Wambugu explained the importance of starting a greenhouse and its advantages over other agriculture technologies in our country.

"Greenhouse can work in any climatic conditions of Kenya even in arid areas like Turkana where it is dry and it doesn't work with seasons since you can grow crops at any time of the year" says Gaiti.

He adds that greenhouse requires a water tank to store irrigation water. This makes it efficient to any farmer and in any part of country.

Gaiti says that this agriculture technology has helped many farmers to get high yields and it is really proving to many farmers. 

During interview Gaiti said that inside a green house there are polythene papers which help to prevent excessive water loss.

He further added that a greenhouse is good for growing horticultural crops which need more attention such as vegetables, tomatoes, cucumber and bell pepper. It brings about high yield and thus high profits.

"When you grow many plants in a greenhouse it is money harvesting since after harvesting a particular crop others remain to continue yielding and you can get money from them at the same time.

Unlike other agriculture technologies, a greenhouse temperature can be regulated by simple means like use of shade cloth.  A shade cloth can be any piece of cloth material which is draped over green house walls which are either glass or plastic and by this it blocks a lot of heat." said Gaiti.

Gaiti who has been in agriculture field for over 20 years explains how greenhouse technology has helped many Kenyans who are facing land fragmentation problem.

He added that setting a greenhouse is cheap compared to starting a business since all you need is   KSh 350,000 to set up a greenhouse of 8mm by 30mm which can produce one million shillings per harvest.

Gaiti dismissed claims that greenhouse has harmful effects to our environment saying that it's safe to use a greenhouse anywhere as Kenya Agriculture Research Institute has tested it and approved it to farmers.

The agriculture specialist calls up for 2/3 of unemployed youth to venture in agriculture as it's the new money maker in business.

Agriculture contributes to about 2/5 of our economy and it's a good place for the youth to be self-employed where they can start their own agricultural business and make more money to sustain themselves he adds.


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