Kenya greenhouse farmers will get an opportunity in the months of August and September to get trained extensively on greenhouse farming in South Africa. The trip will be facilitated by a local greenhouse manufacturer Agrotunnel International.
The farmers will be trained on how to economically and viably venture into greenhouse farming depending on their levels on income. Then after venture, how they can manage, maintain and sustain greenhouse farming for the best results.
The training will be extensive on technical aspects of greenhouse tunnel farming, like tunnel maintenance, selection, setting of water schedules and heating systems, seedling preparation, fertiliser programmes and product marketing.
Other greenhouse aspects to be covered in the training, will be on soil and water pH analysis and farming crops like tomatoes, cucumbers and pepper in hydroponics nutrient solutions and in the soil. The hydroponics technique involves growing such crops solely in water containing soluble and mineral nutrients.
According to Oliver Ndegwa the director of Agrotunnel International, they opted for the training in South Africa as its climatic conditions are similar to Kenya. Also European travel would be expensive to local farmers. The greenhouse farming and training sector in South Africa is also advanced than Kenya’s.
In Kenya according to Ndegwa, there are no specialised greenhouse training centres. Though, educational institutions like Egerton and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) are planning to introduce such training centres. “It’s still limited,” adds Ndegwa emphasizing the need to have more such centres open.
Once the farmers complete the 5 day training, farmer will get certifications that will enable them to train other farmers on coming back. They will be Trainer of Trainers (TOT’s). “They will also better manage their farms,” adds Ndegwa.
The training will be run by Dicla training centre an agricultural training centre based in Gauteng South Africa. Agrotunnel has allocated space for 20 farmers for the two trips. On average the trip will cost each farmer $2000.
To get the contacts for Agrotunnel on the trip and dates visit their website on www.agrotunnel.com. Agrotunnel are also running a competition to have a farmer win a greenhouse. For details on that contact Fridah on +254-720560727.
Written By James Karuga for African Laughter
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