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09 Jul
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Cost of Starting a Greenhouse in Kenya

Farming is the most common commercial venture that most people turn onto to sustain any other income they may be getting from elsewhere. Other than rain-dependent agriculture, which sometimes is inconsistent and erratic, having a controlled agricultural environment, greenhouse, can help overcome issues associated with the traditional method of farming. We also have to take into consideration that in areas where the annual rainfall is not enough to sustain agriculture, other options are available that can help overcome this problem.

Greenhouses come in different sizes and shapes: from small to large with sizes in length and width being from about 4meters to 32 meters or 1 acre square if the budget and available space allows.

A. Support Structure Material Used

Is the material wood or metal? Each type of material has different applications and its limitations bring about the overall need of usage. For example, all wooden greenhouses are vented units and can last about 3-5 years before being fully replaced.

B. The Greenhouse Design

Is it the vented or the tunnel type greenhouse? The vented type is more laborious than the tunnel type, and are built in mid to low altitude hot low lands. It has an additional ventilation at the top. The tunnel type is for cooler highland locations.

C. Galvanized or Non-galvanized Steel

The type of metal used: is the steel galvanized or not? Galvanized steel structures are resistant to rust and last for decades and that builds on the overall cost of the structure.

D. Type of Farm Crop

Some crops such as determinate tomato, cucumber and capsicum need steel support stands. Low crops like strawberry, herbs and spices, and most flowers do not require this.

Other than the above listed factors, other indirect factors that will affect the overall cost include:

  • Ventilation system
  • Shade nets
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Automatic ventilation
  • Available land space
  • Soil testing
  • Agronomy
  • Irrigation system
  • Crop supports
  • Labor
  • Transportation and other construction-related costs

NB:  The size of the greenhouse, compounded by the above factors normally sum up the total cost of the structure.

Read Also: Cost of Setting Up a Petrol Station in Kenya

Benefits of Greenhouses in Kenya

  • Increased crop yields as compare when before we did the study. The controlled sunshine, and climate variation conditions ensure better utilization of applied fertilizer and stoppage to leaching of the soil.
  • Quality seed/seedling offers as most greenhouse builders are organizations that have understood the problems faced by many new farmers and also as method to continuously provide chargeable services.
  • Cultivating of exotic plants which would otherwise not thrive in the local climatic conditions. These includes fruits, flowers, and vegetables.
  • Extended growing season as greenhouses protect crops from harsh weather conditions like frost, snow and heavy rain, all for an all-year round production.
  • Fewer pest problems as the controlled environment ensures proper spraying and control of pest movements leading to faster growth and higher yields.
  • Water savings as it’s used in a controlled manner preventing from wastage. This all in-turn helps, when collected, reduce water runoff during heavy rainstorms.
  • Temperature and humidity control which is done through the naturally high roof peaks and roof vents that allow heat and moisture to escape. This combined with an active ventilation system achieves sufficient cooling and remove moisture from a greenhouse.

Greenhouse Costing

wooden greenhouse structure

Below are the average costs associated with a wooden greenhouse. Other than labor and support base construction, all the costs are inclusive of greenhouse technician fees, water tank (of 2,000 or less liters), irrigations system and structure and polythene cover.

Wooden Structure Size (Meters)Cost in Shillings (Setup and Associated Equipment)
15 * 8140,000 – 165,000
25 * 8170,000 – 180,000
30 * 8190,000 – 250,000
30 * 16320,000 – 420,000
24 * 30600,000 – 720,000
32 * 30950,000 – 1,250,000
64 * 603,600,000 – 3,820,000
Wooden greenhouse average costs

Metallic structured greenhouses are more expensive than their wooden counterparts. Because of the quality and structure design needed, costs may rise exponentially.

Read Also: Cost of Setting Up a Swimming Pool

NB:  It should be noted that the prices below are a rough estimate from a several greenhouse producers with the range being a comparison between the least priced and most priced. Consequently, one should be able to choose wisely based on location, quality of previous work and other supplementary services offered in the total amount paid.

Structure Size in MetersTunnel Type (Kes)Open Ventilated Type (Kes)
15 * 8290,000 320,000330,000 – 350,000
20 * 8300,000 – 370,000340,000 – 380,000
24 * 8320,000 – 390,000350,000 – 410,000
30 * 8460,000 – 510,00540,000 – 580,000
40 * 8575,000 – 610,000655,000 – 690,000
15 * 16460,000 – 520,000550,000 – 610,000
24 * 16620,000 -680,000665,000 – 720,000
30 * 16900,000 – 1,100,000990,0001 – 1,210,000
40 * 161,100,000 – 1,250,0001,240,000 – 1,450,000
Approximate costs of making a metallic greenhouse

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