Cucumber farming in green houses. Open opportunities for Cameroonian youths

Cucumber farming, what opportunity for the youths! This fruit neglected for a very long time has come to prove itself on the market and on the table of household citizens. The demand of natural and high value cucumbers is very high.

FRU Claudia AMABO

Compared in the last decade, Cucumber cultivation is in line with the real and perceived demands which continues to show a steady growth. More and more people are taking the fruit into consideration and health conscious and are inclined to consuming cucumbers among other fruits and vegetables. In facts, consuming and cultivating cucumber is a new fashion.

In his last addresses to the nation, President Paul Biya invited everyone to return to the agricultural field, for this sector is very fruitful and even more attractive especially for the youths of this nation.  It’s true the industry still lacks technological innovations to increase productivity and minimize losses. The lack of such innovations continue to affect the profit of potential investment and producers, making it unattractive at first sight. Still, as Cameroon is facing a rapid growth in the youth population; a fast growing middle class, high levels of rural-urban migrations; high unemployment rates among the youths and much more, agriculture appears to be a very promising sector full of opportunities. And youths are best placed to take advantage of them. “At the Green House Ventures, we continue to provide training, volunteer, internship and job opportunities for many. We are also working to create investment opportunities for youths in greenhouse farming through the establishment of our franchise model backed by a buy back policy.” Roland Fomundam founder and CEO at Greenhouse Ventures Cameroon premier sustainable agricultural company is a business and technology expert specialized in developing and enabling processes for the bottom pyramid markets who believes cucumber cultivation is a sector in which youth can invest. He is also a motivation coach, mentor, teacher of innovation and entrepreneurship and of all a goodwill ambassador.

Some years ago, he decided to invest in cucumber farming in green houses and the results are surprising “We can see today in town of Mbengwi where the project was firstly launched, four hectares of mega greenhouses with an average harvest capacity of 3500kg during a single harvest. The possibility of four harvests, a year is more effective than ever on these farms and the return on investment is within its first year of solid profits and impact.”  Its wooden frame work carries a warranty of 12-15 years meaning you can replace the plastic when warranty expires. Equipped with 25,000 liter water tank to harvest and store water during the rainy season for the dry season, it is no doubt that all this is a great emergence for Cameroon in the agricultural domain. Cameroon stands as the only as the only company as for green house ventures to meet the triple bottom objectives for the people, profit and the environment.

In the months to come this project will be introduced in all the neighborhood in Cameroon. Greenhouse farming is one of the solutions to Cameroon’s agricultural challenges especially for small scale farmers. Greenhouse farming has also proven to assure high yields on small plots with extended shelf lies and high value. It has also proven to be less tedious and more attractive to youths, a fundamental solution to emerging agriculture. This has been complemented by GreenHouse Ventures by the establishment of a business model that assures production and profit

One Reply to “Cucumber farming in green houses. Open opportunities for Cameroonian youths”

  1. 2G ,LC greenhouse technology : 2G Patent granted 3G L1 and 4G Patents Pending

    Dear Sir

    Kindly spare a moment to have a look at the attached presentation and advise your interest for purchasing this technology if Yes then we kindly request you to kindly advise whether you intend to purchase the technology on your own and there after licence the technology to other greenhouse manufacturers in your country or together with an investor or together with some other greenhouse manufacturers in your country.

    This technology saves heating cost of greenhouses in cold locations wherein the heating for comprise almost 1/3 of the total operating cost

    I have built a 500 m2 prototype greenhouse the images of which together with standing crop would be uploaded on our following website

    http://www.prabhagreens.com

    2G , 3G L1 and 4G LC greenhouse technology facilities can be retrofitted in the existing greenhouses which provides very large business opportunity for the greenhouse manufacturing sector and most profitable exercise for the greenhouse growers

    It is respectfully suggested that if you may kindly approach the Environment Protection Ministry of the government with a request to subsidize the purchase of this technology , on the premise that this technology considerably reduces global warming

    2G greenhouse comprises multiple inventions :
    3G L1 greenhouse inventions comprises improvements over 2G greenhouse inventions and
    4G LC greenhouse inventions comprise improvements over 3G L1 greenhouse inventions comprise :
    1) A method for relatively low cost greenhouse supplementary heating and hot air for numerous needs in cold locations which obviates burning fossil fuel and saving very substantial cost of fossil fuel leading to reducing global warming.
    2) A method for relatively low cost heating premises such as residential , commercial premises including for example but not limited to offices , malls , multiplexes hotels and industrial units and the like which mostly comprise burning very substancial amount of fossil fuel to heat water to about 60° C for circulation into the heating radiators
    3) A method for relatively low cost greenhouse supplementary cooling saving substantial cost of electric energy which is mostly a product of burning fossil fuel and reducing global warming.
    4) A method for reducing global warming by preventing the greenhouse carbon dioxide comprising carbon dioxide released by the plants during dark hours or residual carbon dioxide available after carbon dioxide enrichment events of sun light hours ,
    from being released into the atmosphere. and instead capturing , compressing , dehumidifying , storing and utilizing the greenhouse carbon dioxide during sun light hours for carbon dioxide enrichment for optimizing the productivity leading to achieving a more economically viable greenhouse by selling the carbon credits which are not used because the greenhouse carbon dioxide is not released into the atmosphere.
    In this regard kindly be apprised that the aforesaid two innovations substantially reduce global warming and are likely to be mandatory.
    5) A method for mechanizing and optimizing air circulation around the plants facilitating at least four fold plant density.
    6) An unique method for maintaining greenhouse air relative humidity at a predetermined set point by capturing greenhouse humid air which is compressed , maintained almost dry in the dehumidifying tanks , stored into the earth tube heat exchanger and released into the greenhouse for mixing in the greenhouse humid air for maintaining greenhouse air relative humidity at a predetermined relative humidity set point without traditional manipulating the greenhouse air temperature.
    7) Almost similar method for maintaining greenhouse air temperature at a predetermined set point in hot locations wherein there is no option to evaporative cooling which increases the greenhouse air relative humidity resulting in minimal evaporative cooling
    8) A method for substantially reducing input cost of nutrients by using activated nutrient
    solutions of very low cost nutrients such as Urea, raw Calcium sulphate, and raw
    Magnesium sulphate. Using a method to dissolve raw Calcium sulphate, and raw
    Magnesium sulphate into water and activating there solutions and converting urea into
    an activated solution of nitrate, apart from saving cost , So4 ions without chloride ions
    which is very beneficial
    Nutrients comprise a substantial portion of the total cost of food production and as such
    using the aforesaid very low cost nutrients, leading to a substantial reduction in the cost
    of food production.
    9) A method for aerating the roots of the crop and for maintaining the temperature of the
    roots of the crop at a predetermined temperature set point which optimizes uptake of
    nutrients by the plants leading to maximizing the productivity
    10) A method for switching-off an irrigation or a fertigation event on first few drops of drained
    off leach ate which is very beneficial in hydroponics in particular and in other systems in
    general. Plants receive optimal watering and nutrition without any danger of plants
    collapsing due to water logging.
    11) A method for obviating gutters in multi span structured greenhouses together with all
    gutters’ related problems , leading to at least 10 % reduction in the cost of the multi span
    structured greenhouse and saving replacement cost of gutters
    12) A method for conditioning relatively cooler greenhouse air to relatively warmer
    greenhouse air in cold locations and for conditioning relatively warmer greenhouse air to
    relatively cooler greenhouse air in hot location
    wherein an earth tube heat exchanger comprises L1 cost reinforced concrete pipes of a
    predetermined diameter and of a predetermined volume based upon the greenhouse
    area to be serviced which may comprise a plurity of greenhouses. The earth tube heat
    exchanger comprises four separate compartments for respectively storing carbon
    dioxide rich dehumidified greenhouse air , oxygen rich dehumidified greenhouse air ,
    carbon dioxide rich lowest humidity almost dry greenhouse air and oxygen rich lowest
    humidity almost dry greenhouse air
    Earth Tube Heat Exchanger Fundamental
    soil strata between 2 – 3 mtr depth
    temp regime is constant (thermal constant)
    temp in this strata displays no diurnal fluctuation
    it does display annual fluctuation but amplitude is small
    at Ahemdabad (india) 23. 03 n lat
    average thermal constant 27° c
    (SHARAN & JHADAV: 2002)
    13) A method for measuring the average thermal constant temperature of a location which is
    essential for installation of the earth tube heat exchanger
    14) Providing a bio thermal energy harnessing automated equipment comprising of a single
    bio thermal energy harnessing tank with the facility of partially loading fresh material
    from the top end and unloading compost from the bottom end facilitating 24 hours and 7
    days harnessing of thermal energy for greenhouse supplementary heating and hot air for
    numerous needs in cold locations wherein harnessed bio thermal carbon dioxide is used
    for carbon dioxide enrichment events during sun light hours for optimizing the
    productivity. When carbon dioxide is not needed for enrichment during dark hours or cloudy environment , the bio thermal carbon dioxide is stored into the earth tube heat exchanger’s compartments which respectively already store carbon dioxide rich dehumidified and lowest humidity almost dry greenhouse air.
    15) A method to provide oxygen rich environment during dark hours which plants are in dire of to respirator and rejuvenate , plants’ health vigor and strong immune system maximizing plants’ tolerance to disease organisms, bacteria, pathogens, fungi, viral infection, harmful insect, pests
    16) A method for obviating horizontal and , or vertical non uniformity by controlling and maintaining at all the vertical and horizontal location in the greenhouse, an uniform air relative humidity at a predetermined relative humidity set point and an uniform air temperature at a predetermined temperature set point.
    17) A method for magnifying and intensifying the artificial light and , or sun light to the predetermined level producing red , blue, and white light, in predetermined proportions. In cold locations natural light is deficient and has to be supplemented with artificial lighting and is accompanied by cold air incurring substantial heating cost whereas in hot location natural light is accompanied with hot air and has to be cooled incurring substantial cooling cost.
    Furthermore quality of light comprising red, blue and white light or combination of aforesaid color lights can be achieved by just replacing the lamp with a lamp emitting , the light in the color or combination of colors for various growth stages of the plants. The operating cost of artificial lighting is only a small component of greenhouse supplementary heating and supplementary cooling cost in the respective cold or hot weather locations. Furthermore the light of requisite intensity and of requisite quality in predetermined colors or combination of colors is available 24 hours and 7 days of a week.
    So far in India light emitting diode lamps in wattage higher than 50 watt and emitting red , blue , green and ultra violet light are not available. When these lamps are available the intensity of light would be almost double because now the magnifying mirrors , lamp mirrored shades are provided coloring
    18) A method for fully insulating the greenhouse from the atmospheric environment, covering the exterior surfaces of the greenhouse roof and the four external sides with thermal shading film of a predetermined thickness based upon the climate of the location
    19) A method based upon climate pattern of a location for covering predetermined area and locations of the external surfaces of the greenhouse roof and to the exterior surface of at least one of the four sides with diffused white film and the external surfaces which do not comprise diffused white film , comprise thermal shading film and each side which does not comprise diffused white film comprise a thermal shading film fixed thereto so that benefit of natural light can be realized together with admitting into the greenhouse only predetermined deficient solar radiation for minimizing needless heat gain , reducing greenhouse air temperature and minimizing the supplementary cooling cost.
    20) A method comprises fixing diffused white film to the greenhouse roof and to at least one side of the greenhouse and each side which do not comprise diffused white film comprise fixing a thermal shading film to also avail the benefit of natural light.
    21) A method for maintaining exterior surfaces of greenhouse cover film free from dust / dirt
    22) A method for efficient fire fighting
    23) A method to facilitate carbon dioxide enrichment during sunlight hours in hot locations.
    24) A method for melting snow on the exterior surfaces of the greenhouse cover film.
    25) A method for heating water for circulation into the radiators in residential , offices , industrial and malls and all kinds of premises wherein heating is required. As of now the heating of the premises is performed by burning fossil fuel
    26) A method for preventing escape into the atmosphere of the stored carbon dioxide and / or bio thermal carbon dioxide and or additional carbon dioxide released at the cultivation level for enrichment during sunlight hours, which is readily taken up by the plants. This reduces the cost of carbon dioxide which could have escaped into the atmosphere and could have also increased global warming.
    27) A mechanized module for adjusting the height of artificial light source which provides substantial benefits because as of now the artificial lighting fixtures are mostly provided at about 15-30 centimeter distance from the level of a fully grown plant the level which the grown plants would achieve after a long duration so that the plants at various growth stages does not receive enough lighting from artificial light source leading to substantial reduction in the productivity.
    28) A method for sos melting snow on exterior surfaces of greenhouse and also for melting snow anywhere : Runways of Airports Highways , Railway Tracks and the like
    29) A method for obviating need of repeated greenhouse warm or cool atmosphere exchange with outside atmospheric hot or cold air up two full air exchanges every hour for maintaining carbon dioxide and oxygen balance in the greenhouse during winters, rain and snow storms when the greenhouses are maintained closed leading to substantial reducing in the associated thermal energy cost for heating the exchanged atmospheric cold air in cold locations and the associated cooling cost of the exchanged atmospheric hot air in hot location.
    30) A method for obviating the problem of maintaining air tight the two layers of the double polythene film covering the greenhouse roof and four sides.
    31) A method for obviating need of horizontal air fans and thereby saving their capital and operating cost.
    32) A method for using smaller wall thickness cheaper galvanized iron pipes filled with sand (ends sealed to ensure no escape of sand) in place of costly large wall thickness C-class galvanized iron pipes both serve same objective.
    33) A method food production in greenhouse in cold locations by increasing deficient sunlight energy together with artificial lighting energy, using earth tube heat exchanger together with bio thermal energy harnessing equipment.
    34) A method to maintain optimal insulation between two layers of inflated double layer polyethylene for covering the greenhouse wherein leaking segments can be visually identified and easily repaired
    35) Achieving all the benefits of a tall greenhouse in a shorter greenhouse leading to a much more economically viable greenhouse with greater energy efficiency and reduced capital and operating cost.
    36) Efficient photoperiod control :
    37) So for no method exists to control daily light photoperiod, which is vital factor Influencing plants’ growth. Plants grown in conditions of varying daily light photoperiod pattern can’t settle in regular life cycle and grow poorly.
    38) In the prototype greenhouse the light intensity increasing and magnifying facility comprise smaller diameter magnifying mirrors and smaller size lamp mirrored shades. Depending upon the requirements the aforesaid components can be of much higher sizes.
    39) Also the bio thermal energy harnessing automated equipment comprise a bio thermal energy harnessing single tank of one meter diameter and three meter height. Depending upon the requirements the bio thermal energy harnessing tank can be of much higher diameter and of much higher height.
    40) 2G , 3G L1 , 4G LC GREENHOUSE FACILITIES CAN BE RETROFITTED IN EXISTING GREENHOUSES.
    OTHER APPLICATIONS
    i) Obviating gutters in multi span structures and installations for numerous needs which saves about 10% cost of the structure and obviates all the problems related to the gutters together with the replacement cost
    ii) Earth tube heat exchanger comprises low cost reinforced concrete pipes which is very beneficial in environment controlled or non environment controlled structures and installations for numerous applications and needs, cold storages multiplexes, hotels, malls, commercial and residential complexes, zoological parks’, stud farms cows or buffalos sheds etc (premises)
    iii) Bio thermal energy harnessing automated equipment which is very beneficial in environment controlled or non environment controlled structures and installations for numerous applications and needs, multiplexes, hotels, malls, commercial and residential complexes, zoological parks, stud farms cows or buffalos sheds etc (premises)
    A 500 m2 prototype greenhouse has been constructed wherein all the facilities has been installed wherein a cucumber crop is being seeded so that the interested parties may realize the real time benefits. Video with standing crop would be uploaded on Facebook and You Tube within next 3 to 4 weeks.
    Kindly advise your comments and interest.
    S P Gupta, [email protected] Chandigarh, (INDIA)

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