What is green house farming?
Greenhouse farming refers to an agricultural practice where crops are grown in a sheltered structure that is covered by a transparent material like glass, plastic films etc. The main purpose of this is to provide the crops with a conducive external environment to grow in regardless of the climatic conditions prevailing naturally in that location.
Farming using greenhouses has various advantages and disadvantages that can be listed as:
- Extension in growing season: when plants are grown in a greenhouse, they are no longer dependent on the external weather conditions. Any farmer can grow the desired plants and vegetables. The same temperature and humidity can be maintained in various ways within a greenhouse causing less stress on plants which ultimately leads to higher strength in them.
- Larger variety: since the plants chosen for growth are not dependent on external environment factors anymore, crops can now be grown based on market demand and availability of crops even during off season times. Greenhouse also provides farmers with an opportunity to grow crops and flowers that could not survive in the natural conditions.
- Reduce threats to crops: the most common problem in farming is pest attacks and insect invasions. This can be avoided as what goes into the greenhouse can be controlled and hence the risks of diseases are drastically reduced.
- Fresh produce: since a green house facilitates year-round production of crops as they are not bound by the external climate conditions, fresh produce can be consumed throughout the year without the need for harsh cold storage and freezing of crops based on the season of production.
- Others: higher profits, clean crops, soil free production, lesser labor, reduction in harvest time and cycles.
- Lack of Pollination: since the entire environment of the greenhouse is externally controlled, naturally occurring processes like pollination are not facilitated. While pests can not enter the greenhouse, even pollinators will not be able to enter. This can lead to certain problems that have to be tackled artificially.
- Operating expense: to ensure that the greenhouse is used to its maximum efficiency the greenhouse should be installed of good quality and maintained properly. Supplies used in the green house should be of good quality as well and must be maintained on a regular basis.
- Initial investment cost: to install a green house the farmers must have some money to set up the frame and attain the covering materials. It can be considered expensive to build if the farmers do not have a steady instillation budget and is hence often considered as a luxury investment to farmers.
- Expensive to heat or cool: automation in heating and cooling systems for extremely climates can be expensive and lead to higher bills. However, this cost can be negated by the pricing of the produce since the fruits and vegetables will be considered as either off season or exquisite.
- Others: Need for alarms, extensive planning, income and competence to grow crops should be balance against the cost system.