A greenhouse is a glass or plastic structure which is used for the cultivation and protection of plants. It is made with transparent materials and is big enough to cultivate plants under controlled environmental conditions to get finest growth and yield. Greenhouse farming provides a favorable environment for the plants for its growth by shielding it from extreme weather. The environmental conditions are tailored in such a way that one can cultivate any plant at any time by providing it with a suitable environment with the lowest amount of labor.
There are so many advantages to green house farming than outdoor cultivation. The yield is 10- 12 times higher and the crop is reliable. The amount of water required for cultivation is much less than normal cultivation. The flowers and vegetables can be grown all year round. Since the pesticides and chemicals are used efficiently, it is disease free. It is a demanding process of agriculture as it strikes a correct balance between supply and demand when done on a large scale. The products are available throughout the year. Farmers can predict the harvest more accurately. It also reduces the harvesting period by half.
Around the world, more than 50 countries are undertaking greenhouse farming on a commercial basis. The total area of cultivation of greenhouse farming in the US is 4000 hectares. It is mainly used for floriculture and has a turnover of $2.8 billion per annum. Spain has an area of 25000 hectares and Italy 18500 hectares of greenhouse farming, In Canada, the main crops grown are tomato, cucumber and capsicum. In gulf countries, the cooling method they have adopted is evaporating. In Asia, Japan and China are the largest users of greenhouses. Japan has an area of 40,000 hectares and 7500 hectares is devoted only to fruit orchards. This greenhouse provides crops in areas where winters are extremely cold and severe like Canada and USSR and summers are extremely hot in areas like gulf countries. In the Philippines, even though the climate is moderate, greenhouse cultivation is practiced.
Globally, the major greenhouse vegetable producing nations are Spain, Netherlands, Mexico, Canada and United States. Bigger greenhouses have highly developed technologies like computerized temperature control systems which will constantly check and adjust temperature, light, humidity, irrigation and nutrient levels to optimize plant growth. The bigger principal investment involved in starting this business presents a obstruction to entry for many prospective growers.
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