Success in vegetable production and hence vegetable farms – whether organic or not- greatly depends on a well-thought-out plan.
Some critical factors that farmers should consider carefully during the planning stage of the farming operation should include site selection, water supply and quality, crop and variety selection, and market development. It is important to note that any wrong decision regarding any of these may not prove beneficial.
Why Site Selection Is Critical for Vegetable Farm
Site selection is very crucial if you are planning to produce veggies. Note that minimizing potential production problems is essential to all farming operations. This is especially correct if you want to grow organic vegetables.
One of the most effective means of reducing potential problems is through proper field site selection. You should consider three points when selecting a field to produce vegetables. These are field topography, soil type, and water availability.
[a] Field Topography
Topography means the physical characteristics of the overall field site. It typically includes contour, soil depth, water, and air drainage conditions. All these factors can have a significant influence on crop production and vegetable farm production.
Note that poorly drained fields or those with low areas – could be waterlogged during periods of excessive rain. These conditions could enhance the incidence of diseases causing plants to die. Brushy areas or abandoned fields and pastures may harbor insects. They are giving rise to a host for plant diseases.
Moreover, rocky slopes may not be ideal for growing crops. Farmers should avoid sites with slopes to prevent excessive erosion problems. A perfect topography for a vegetable farm is to produce one that is nearly flat to slightly sloping, well-drained, and free of trees, rocks, and low areas.
[b] Soil type and quality
Soil type refers to the physical properties of the soil. The soil consists of decomposed mineral matter and decomposed organic matter. Note that farmers can produce optimum production on well-drained sandy loam soils.
Although farmers can grow vegetables on a wide range of soil types – most vegetables are not well adapted to clay soil types. This soil type tends to have poor aeration and drainage, which can restrict root growth. Consequently, it would help if you avoided this soil type.
Water is the lifeblood of vegetable farm production. It is important to note that vegetable crops generally require total water and more frequent irrigation than other agronomic crops.
Note that farmers should consider fields that have easy access to an abundant water source should be regarded as for vegetable production. Remember that the water source should have the capability to provide the volume required for the vegetable.
[d] Crop and Variety Selection
Pest control plays a vital role in vegetable production. Farmers today use a wide variety of seeds recommended by experts. Most of these varieties are preferred as they possess as high a level of resistance to many diseases as possible. Therefore, organic producers who use types or grow species with resistance to as many diseases – will have a higher yield.
Why Vegetable Farm is Important
Vegetables are a rich and comparatively cheaper source of vitamins. These items provide taste and palatability, increase your appetite, and provide fiber for digestion, thus preventing constipation.
Moreover, a fair amount provides the much-needed protein and vitamins for your body. They also play a crucial role in neutralizing the acids produced during the digestion of fatty foods. Remember veggies also provide valuable roughages which help move food in your intestine.
2. Importance as Food
We all know that food production is increasing. Therefore, it is essential to sustain increased production besides the nutritional standards of people. Rising production of vegetables can help solve the food problem as the yield of vegetable crops is about four to ten times more than cereals. Thus, we see that vegetables can play a vital role on the food front as they are the cheapest sources of natural foods.
3. Importance to a grower
As you know, nature can grow all kinds of vegetable crops that can be grown in different seasons of the year in the region. Other vegetables provide stem, leaf, flower, fruit, or seed for consumption.
So there is vividness in the crops farmers can grow throughout the year. It helps them earn a steady income to meet their daily expenditure. You can find veggies of a concise duration that farmers can raise during the rainy season. There are also intercrops – which can be produced within the crops.
Some vegetables will improve the soil and provide cattle fodder. Thus we see that farmers have a wide choice to select suitable crops. The region’s climate and soil conditions are ideal for growing different vegetables.
Since the cultivation of vegetable crops involves intensive cultural operations from sowing to marketing – it provides more and regular employment opportunities, especially in rural areas.
5. Industrial importance
You might have observed that the perishable nature of vegetables often demands comprehensive planning for the movement, storage, processing, and distribution of vegetable products.
The growth of the vegetable industry as a commercial solution depends mainly on allied enterprises like storage, processing, marketing and maintenance, and service enterprises.
Vegetable Farms for Food Security
Vegetables have increasingly gotten recognition as essential items for nutrition and food security. Vegetable production offers a promising economic opportunity for reducing rural poverty and unemployment in developing countries and is a crucial component of farm diversification strategies. Vegetables are humanity’s most affordable source of vitamins and minerals for good health.
Today, neither vegetables’ nutritional nor economic power has been realized sufficiently. To tap the economic power of vegetable farms, governments will have to increase their investment in farm productivity, good postharvest management, food safety, and market access.
This would require investment in improved varieties, alternatives to chemical pesticides, and protected cultivation. To gain the maximum nutritional power of vegetables, consumers will have to increase their awareness of how vegetables can contribute to health and find them at affordable prices or can grow them themselves. The governments must promote vegetable consumption through supply-side interventions and behavioral change communication.
It would be of help if you emphasized the importance of eating vegetables for good nutrition and health. To fully tap vegetables’ economic and nutritional power, governments and donors need to give vegetables much greater priority than they are currently receiving. This is the time to prioritize investments in vegetables by providing increased economic opportunities for smallholder farmers and providing healthy diets for all.
Vegetable Farms and Health Recommendations
Vegetables and Fruits are essential sources of micronutrients required for healthier diets. Potassium in vegetables assists you in maintaining healthy blood pressure. Vegetable’s dietary fiber content reduces blood cholesterol levels, lowering the risk of heart diseases.
Additionally, folate (folic acid) reduces the chances of congenital disabilities, and vitamin A keeps skin and eyes healthy. Furthermore, vitamin C not only keeps teeth and gums healthy but also aids in the absorption of iron. Recognizing the essential nutritional benefits of vegetables and fruits, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended a minimum intake of 400 g per day to prevent chronic diseases, namely heart diseases, diabetes, and cancers.
Additionally, WHO recommends supplying the micronutrients iodine, vitamin A, calcium, zinc, and iron. However, consumers today, even those with higher incomes, are believed to be missing out on this target. Consequently, extra attention to filling this dietary gap and enabling consumers to tap the nutritional power of vegetables is required.
Economic Aspects of Vegetable Farms
Farm vegetable production, processing, and marketing offer potential opportunities that can be especially attractive to youth. Market-oriented cultivation in vegetable farms not only creates income for smallholder farmers but also helps to build their resilience to external risks.
The diversity of farm vegetable crops, shorter growing cycles, and efficient use of irrigation can reduce the chances of climate change for the farmers. For economic resilience, farmers may either move into specialized vegetable production or integrate vegetables into existing staple cropping systems.
Farm vegetable production requires only tiny amounts of land. The process is technology-savvy, and farmers can obtain high profits relatively quickly. Furthermore, low levels of mechanization in vegetable farms production and the need for careful handling of produce often creates a specific demand for female labor. Public investments in training, infrastructure, and subsidies in support of vegetable value chains can advance such employment.
However, the potential of vegetables to generate positive economic and nutritional impacts has been limited by the relatively low levels of support that national governments and international donors direct to public sector vegetable research and development.
Private and public agricultural investments are still primarily focused on staple and oil crops, and not on micronutrient rich commodities. The private sector investments in lower-income countries are directed at vegetables. These tend to be focused on a narrow range of globally-important vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green beans, peppers, and cucumbers.
The value of vegetables as an essential ingredient in your daily human diet has come to be recognized worldwide in recent years. You may get many specific chemical substances your body needs for growth, reproduction, and health maintenance. Veggies grown at the vegetable farm contribute vitally to general well-being.
Read related topics on land pollution, water sprinkler, soil erosion, plant soil, carbon foot prints, moisture meter, artificial intelligence and its importance in farming, contaminated water, and more.