AGRICULTURE NEWS - The primary purpose of a greenhouse is to provide ideal conditions for year-round plant production regardless of location, weather and other environmental conditions.
While greenhouses are expensive because they are typically equipped with complex crop management systems, Shaul Rabin, managing director of South African greenhouse systems supply company Cyclone Technology, says the return on investment can be high.
He adds that factors such as climate change are key factors driving greenhouse farming around the world.
Rabin says that greenhouse farming is attractive for three main reasons: it is far more water-efficient than open-air production; sunlight can be evenly dispersed over all the plants and its intensity can be managed to suit particular crops; and temperature and humidity can be controlled.
“In addition, the ability to trellis plants is made much easier; theft of and damage to plants is minimised; air movement through a greenhouse can be controlled; and specialised lighting can be used to provide plants with any artificial light they might need.
“A greenhouse farmer can achieve the same or even better yield on a smaller area than an outdoor crop farmer can.”