First hydroponic steps in Nigeria

Orija Oladimeji has been incurring huge post-harvest losses due to the unpredictable nature of the “hoe and cutlass” mode of farming he inherited from his parents. His story changed when he decided to adopt greenhouse farming, the first of its kind in his Akanbi Ade village of Kwara State.

“I had to deliberately set up these greenhouse systems due to the dynamics in weather fluctuations that caused a lot of headaches to farmers’ activities in this area,” he told.

Mr. Oladimeji is a former Kwara-based radio presenter, a public health communicator, and a farmer from birth.

Amidst the devastating impacts of extreme climatic events on healthy and sustainable food production, Mr. Oladimeji said his appetite for climate-smart farming became irresistible after he caught a glimpse of similar demonstrations at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA).

“The weather here in this part of the world is highly temperate and can be very hot. The dynamics of the temperature is something that gives farmers a serious headache. Sometimes it becomes too hot and too cold for the plants. So we need to get the temperature controlled, that’s why we installed this greenhouse,” he said.

Mr. Oladimeji, who is the founder of Ibujeran farms, said his farm output as a result of the greenhouse system adoption has been wonderful. He explained that he has harvested more than 300 small-sized tomato baskets this year and that he is making plans for the installation of more greenhouses on his farm.

“Finance and government policies are also major challenges we face because each of these greenhouse setups you are seeing is in millions of naira,” he added.

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