Written by Suleiman Mustapha
Sustainable food production is the act of producing food using less polluting methods and adopting techniques that conserves the environment and are generally safe to the health and well being of both the farmers and the consumers. Nowadays, farmers rely heavily on synthetic chemicals to grow crops and also combat pests in order to maximize profits. This method, while it may have broad spectrum and enhances production, has been found to be entirely deleterious not only to human health but on key ecological service providers depended on for continuous and abundant production of food such as pollinators, decomposers, parasitoids and other beneficial flora or fauna in the agroecosystem.
There is the need to encourage and sensitize farmers on the need to adopt a much more sustainable food production practice due to the hazard they are constantly being faced with while using unsafe approach. Although, another severe problem identified is that most of these farmers do not know that the method and manner in which they grow crops and or process food are hazardous to themselves, their family and the buyers. It is starling to find out that the majority of the food crops produced by farmers in Nigeria are by subsistence farmers who sell their excesses into any available market with little or no education to be aware of the dangers of unsustainable practices. These farmers are not well trained nor are knowledgeable on what it means to produce food in a cleaner manner but to depend on the aforementioned technique.
Mobile Plant Clinic Network, in our efforts to sensitize and contribute to sustainable food production in Nigeria has made plans to train and tutor farmers on our networks. We have also made arrangements to make access to sustainable production facilities available to farmers across the nation. Recently, we are beginning to help farmers see the advantage of installing their own greenhouses for all year production of edible vegetables and other food crops. One of the major advantage of greenhouse is the total exclusion of notorious insect pests and weeds affecting production and to provide an enabling environment for the growth of exotic vegetables such as the bell peppers, cucumbers, water melons, buffalo tomatoes, etc. thereby ensuring maximum productivity by farmers. Due to sensitization and awareness, it is surprising to learn that local farmers without any form of education are willing to adopt practices demonstrated to them with knowledge of the advantages that follows them.
There is total exclusion of notorious insect pest like the cotton stainer (Dysdercusspp) from gaining access to vegetables with the use of greenhouse
For instance, in one of our focussed group training session on the use of greenhouses and drip irrigation we noticed that farmers are expressing their desires to get access and to install their own greenhouse facilities in their farms. Even though we have aware them of using improvised version and cheaply constructed greenhouses, they want the real deal!
Therefore, Mobile Plant Clinic Network have identified trustworthy pre-installed greenhouses and in other to help these farmers we are making enormous efforts to deliver and help install convertible greenhouses upon request to their farms.
Contact us if you are interested in acquiring your own greenhouse facility. We are available to help and discuss with you firstname.lastname@example.org
A convertible greenhouse to screenhouse facility (Mobile Plant Clinic Network access to provide upon request)