Development of a Low Cost Greenhouse and Drip Hydroponic Structure for Vegetable Production in South-West Nigeria

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O. O. Olubanjo
A. E. Alade

Abstract

Greenhouse and drip hydroponic structure was developed and constructed for field experimentation at the experimental farm site of the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria. The use of greenhouse with hydroponic structure is very important in Nigeria Agricultural system to ameliorate food insecurity especially fresh vegetable production and consumption. The system involved economic use of water and nutrients for vegetable production. This ensures availability of vegetables all years round. The cost of purchasing and installing a commercial greenhouse in Nigeria is on the high side. It cost about N2,500,000.00 to install 12 m × 10 m × 3 m greenhouse. To ensure affordability of this important medium, a low cost greenhouse of the similar dimension with the ready-made greenhouse was designed and constructed. The greenhouse was designed by calculating for structural members such as footings, column and truss. The construction of the greenhouse was carried out in accordance with British standard structural design analysis, orthographic and isometric view. Each component was constructed with proper tolerance, dimension and specification as indicated in the drawing. Wooden strips were nailed to make the net grip to the assembly. The construction of the drip hydroponic soilless farming structure was carried out in accordance with Engineering Standards for Fabrication. Each component was constructed following appropriate tolerance, dimension and specification as shown in the design. Three of fifty litres reservoirs were installed inside of the greenhouse for water/nutrients supply to plants.

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