Expert says vertical farming system preserves arable lands

Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress

An agriculture expert, Mr Ismail Ibrahim, has harped on benefits of vertical farming system and its potential to create more land space for crop cultivation.
Ismail, a fellow at the Nigerian Agriculture and Extension Liaison Service (NAERLS) spoke with the News Agency of Nigerian (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.
The expert said that vertical farming was an innovation aimed at creating more spaces for the local farmer to cultivate his crops.
“The farming concept started to save the available land spaces otherwise consumed by the traditional system of crop farming.
“The concept of vertical farming is that little available spaces can be turned into small farms; the innovation requires a scientific process that involves increasing longitudinal space by farming vertically.
“What we mean by that is that a plot of land can be increased by planting vertically through a scientific construction of steps where each step makes up a farm plot,” he told NAN.
The expert said that each step could be used to farm different or same crops at the same time.
“You will be surprised that if a person has one plot of land, with vertical farming, he can have a three-story farm.
“Each story can be planted on and get their yields. One advantage of the system is that it helps to preserve our arable lands,” he said.
Ismail, however, noted that local farmers in the country might not be ready for the technology because it was capital, time and resource intensive.
“Vertical farming system is a concept in architectural technology that has now been introduced into crop farming and it is very effective.
“’The fact is that vertical farming system is capital intensive because it costs a lot to construct the vertical ramps for crop cultivation.
“Vertical farming system is also technical and time intensive; you cannot go into the farming system without adequate technical know-how on the system,” he said.
He added that the local farmer would need certain expertise to adopt the farming system and would need to be trained to do it effectively.
“Vertical farming requires sensitive information gathering and patience and a lot of step-by-step process which I do not think an average local farmer can adhere to.
“I do not think our local farmers have that time because they are involved in a lot of activities, that they may not pay attention to the system.
“To practice the vertical farming system, these farmers need to visit their farms more often to get the desired harvest at the end of the day,” Ismail said.
NAN reports that vertical farming system also aims to optimise plant growth and soil-less farming techniques such as hydroponics, aquaponics and aeroponics.


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