Updated on February 22, 2024


Created on August 30, 2017


Upcoming Update

A Macrotunnel is a simple structure that allows coverage of a large area to grow crops in a controlled and protected environment.

Tested By
  • Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG)
Content Partners


Product Description

A Macrotunnel is a simple structure that allows coverage of a large area to grow crops in a controlled and protected environment. A macrotunnel has a medium height and can cover several rows of plants. It is smaller than a greenhouse and is used when excessive control of the conditions inside is not required. The use of macrotunnels is becoming important for the production of fresh-market produce since it minimizes the risk of frost and results in increased early production, total productivity and fruit quality.

Target SDGs

SDG 2: Zero Hunger

SDG 1: No Poverty

Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Household, Community, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG)

Manufacturing/Building Method

Built on site. Macrotunnels can be built by a company that specializes in them, by hiring construction workers directly or as a DIY project.

Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model

Macrotunnels can be built by a company that specializes in them, by hiring construction workers directly or as a DIY project.

Distributions to Date Status

UVG has built 13 macrotunnels for research purposes in Guatemalan rural areas as part of the technology transfer program. The installed units are used as a capacity center for local agricultural producers.


3.2 x 2 x 30 m

Material of construction

PVC, galvanized steel with Agryl, anti-insect mesh, low-density polyethylene

Irrigation system included?


Monitoring system?


Cost per square meter

1.53-2.22 USD per square meter

Plant capacity

4.3 plants per m2

Design Specifications

Design specifications:

  • The structure can be made out of PVC, galvanized steel or wood.
  •  The cover can be Agryl (agrotextile material), anti-insect mesh or a combination of low density polyethylene and anti-insect mesh.
  • The size of the macrotunnel may vary according to the farmer's need, UVG's macrotunnels are 3.2 m wide, 2 m in height and 30 m long with 3-4 rows of plants.
  • First the land is prepared and flattened, then PVC or steel arches are installed.
  • The rows where the plants are going to be placed are covered in plastic and the external covering is placed on top of the PVC or metal structure.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

By user, the cover needs replacing every 1-8 cycles depending on the material.

Replacement Components

Locally available components at hardware stores or agricultural centers.


The covering can be changed cyclically, if it is plastic it can be recycled.

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

Create a physical barrier for climatic events, viruses and pests. Increase productivity.

Vetted Performance Status

  • Increase in crop yields from 2.5 - 3.8 times
  • The combination of mesh and plastic proved to create better microclimate conditions for chilly pepper.
  • The combination of mesh and plastic proved to more profitable than using a mesh or agrotextile covering


No safety recommendations found.

Complementary Technical Systems

Agricultural training

Academic Research and References

Porres V., Cifuentes R. and de León E. 2014 Evaluación de tres tipos de cubierta para macrotúneles sobre el microclima y la productividad del chile pimiento (Capsicum annuum) en Escuintla y Sololá. Revista de la Universidad del Valle de Guatemala. 27(9): 82-92

De León C. 2013. Análisis Económico de Infraestructuras: Sistema de Riego, Macrotuneles, Invernaderos. Guatemala: Universidad del Valle de Guatemala.

Porres V., de León E. and Cifuentes R. 2013. Producción de Chile Pimiento en Macrotúneles con Pequeños Productores.. Guatemala: Universidad del Valle de Guatemala.

Stein M. 2013. Proyecto Para El Desarrollo Agrícola. Guatemala: Universidad del Valle de Guatemala.

Compliance with regulations


Other Information

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6wu0C9zUyARV1daVVdUcWI2UWs/view https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6wu0C9zUyARakFJUnZKS05vVm8/view https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6wu0C9zUyARUElTQktjY1NZVkE/view Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG) Price may vary depending on materials used, ranging from $41.50 (converted from Quetzales) to $1,292.92 USD  

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