In the period of January 2012 until July 2014 the Green Farming demonstration project ‘Climate Management in African Greenhouses’ is being implemented in Ethiopia and Kenya. The demonstration project is an initiative of Green Farming member Ludvig Svensson, in cooperation with Green Farming members Bosman BV, Hoogendoorn Automation BV and DLV Plant BV.
The purpose of the project is to demonstrate that through the implementation of proper technology and management, the use of inputs in greenhouse production can be reduced and production quantity and quality can be increased at the same time. The aim is to realize a more favourable growing climate in African production greenhouses with permanent roof vents, resulting in a higher production with a higher quality and with less use of pesticides and water. Green Farming wishes to convince the East African horticulture sector that Dutch technology, although having higher initial investments costs, on the long run will be most cost effective.
The current situation in the horticulture sectors of Ethiopia and Kenya is that growers produce flowers and vegetables in plastic greenhouses with fixed ventilation without any screening systems. The absence of screens under the hot, high radiation conditions in East Africa results in very high temperatures in the greenhouse during the day, leading to unnecessarily high transpiration by the plants and resulting in a waste of water. Furthermore, growers struggle with humid conditions in the greenhouse in early morning hours due to low night temperatures, creating the optimal conditions for development of all kind of fungi, resulting in high yield losses and intensive application of crop protection chemicals. Improving greenhouse climate in terms of temperature and humidity levels is recognized by growers to be a major challenge of greenhouse cultivation in East Africa.
For this demonstration project screen systems are introduced to the East African horticulture sector. By installing moveable light diffusing shade screens in plastic greenhouses with fixed ventilation, combined with a proper screen strategy controlled by a climate computer, problems with high day temperatures and low night temperatures can be addressed, resulting overall in reduction of water use and crop protection chemicals, improvement of product quality and quantity and an increase of sustainability of the production system.
The demonstration project will be carried out at different production sites and climatic zones in Ethiopia and Kenya.
The expected results of the implementation of the demonstration project are:
During the demonstration project data will be collected and registered related to greenhouse climate, crop production, turnover, and running costs. The data will be made available after every full year. After the project a financial business plan will be delivered. End conclusions will be presented to the sector.
During and after the demonstration project, events and viewing days will be organized for interested growers. More information on these activities and on the progress of the demostration project in general will be published on the Green Farming website.
For more information about the demonstration project 'Climate Management in African Greenhouses', please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org