Experts agree there are advantages in taking up greenhouse farming but also add a word of caution.
The global commercial greenhouse market size, estimated to be valued at USD 29.6 billion in 2020, is projected to reach USD 50.6 billion by 2025, recording a CAGR of 11.3% in terms of value, according to a study.
The growth of the market can be attributed to the rising demand for food due to the growing population and climate change, which affects the yield of crops, said MarketsandMarkets, quoting a report on Commercial Greenhouse Market.
Also, growing knowledge about commercial greenhouse technology for higher yield will provide various growth opportunities for commercial greenhouse market in coming years, it added.
However, the spread of coronavirus and resultant lockdown in several countries and mandatory social distancing to curb the transmission of the outbreak has resulted in restricted and delayed imports and exports. This, stated the report, poses a drawback for commercial greenhouse suppliers, as their supply chain is not equipped to cater to the customers.
Nonetheless, many agriculturists in India are also nowadays adopting modern techniques. Experts agree there are advantages in taking up greenhouse farming but also add a word of caution.
“It involves much planning and is meant for high range products and experienced farmers (who are) willing to take risks and export best veggies and fruits,” says Joseph Britto, an Agri Professional.
According to Anand Kanchan of Kanchan Nursery, Pune, “Greenhouse helps to grow produce round the year, even in adverse weather or climatic conditions. This also helps in assured production with right technology.”
But he too advised keeping a proper business plan in place after studying the market well.
“My journey in greenhouse farming began in 2017, growing ornamental pot plants. But I did not study the market well and burned my fingers,” he said.
Thus, his advice today is, “It is only for neo-age farmers. You would need a unique product where you should study the cost well. When I ventured into this sector, I was quoted a price of Rs. 715 per sqm. In reality it cost me more than Rs. 1,150 per sqm! So, please understand your market or you too may burn your fingers.”
Agrees Rajender Kumar, Business Development Manager, South & East Asia, Cravo Equipment Limited: “If proper techno-commercial study is not done, greenhouse technology may cause more harm than profit. In fact, government subsidies in greenhouse technology is contributing to more failure because of lack of proper training and marketing support besides improper government specifications to implement such technologies.”
Joseph Britto, with decades of practical experience in import-export of seeds, greenhouse material and other agro-produce, added: “Greenhouse farming should be a well-planned business. It's ideal for exotic veggies, fruits and flowers.”
Thus, if venturing into this business, “grow such crops that will come to harvest in the off-season and have good demand in the location or are exportable. Have simple greenhouse with minimum gadgets so as to minimise your electric and water bills,” he stated.
Meanwhile, an Indian Greenhouse Growers’ Conference (IGGC) is being organised in Bengaluru. This will be held during the Agri Tech India 2021 at Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre between October 28 and 30. The IGGC will take place on the first day of this major exhibition on agriculture, farm machinery, dairy, poultry, livestock equipment, and agri processing technologies.
The organisers claim that “this event will assist in taking the right steps towards helping farmers in terms of technical know-how, introducing economical greenhouse and Hydroponic solutions and increasing productivity through innovative mechanized and biological product solutions, high-quality planting materials and also using automation in lack of labour availability”.
For event details, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org