Soilless farming is a means of growing a wide range of crops, particularly horticultural crops, in different growing media or substrates other than soil. Farming lands are becoming infertile due to climate change and intensive farming. The world needs multiple efforts to feed more people. Hydroponics or soil-less farming has been proven to be useful to combat food scarcity. It is changing the face of agriculture by providing a more sustainable and productive alternative to traditional cultivation. Many challenges are facing the advancement of soilless farming in Nigeria. These are highlighted below.
- Lack of Experts: Currently, there are only a very few experts in soilless farming in Nigeria. Despite that soilless farming currently have the potential to improve the food productions in Nigeria by 20-30% by the year 2030. This field requires some technical training to become a successful farmer. To address these issues, our organization (Absolute Cedars www.absolutecedars) has developed an initiative to train young interested farmers on soilless farming in partnership with SFarmLab, a popular soilless farming hub in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. Absolute Cedars will be sending the next batch of learners in the next work and learn initiative of sFarmLab.
- Lack of Resources: Currently, to start a medium scale soilless farming in Nigeria, an estimated amount of $3500 will be needed. Although, the good news is that soilless farming can still be started with a little amount of money and utilizing a small area to start with. Any aspiring farmer needs to reach out to people or companies that specialized in soilless farming to be able to gain ideas and necessary support.
- Lack of Adequate Supply Chain: The most common products of soilless farming are vegetables. As this field is advancing more crops will be cultivated and easily delivered to people for consumption. The products are safe, durable and nourishing; however, the major challenge is the lack of marketers and distributors across the country. As time goes on, when the awareness of soilless farming has increased the demand for the products will be higher. Now is a great opportunity to invest in soilless farming.
- Government Policies: Perhaps government policies play a major role in the success of soilless farming at anyplace in the world. The government must provide some soft loans; expert supports and security for farmers and their products. At Absolute Cedars, we are continuing to negotiate with the local, state, and the federal government to increase public engagement on soilless farming.
(Follow us on twitter @AbsoluteCedars, Facebook @acedars or contact Dr. Femi on email at email@example.com, Tel: 08036594962)