1.Looking at farming as a quick money making scheme as opposed to an investment.
Every now and then when approving and sometimes declining posts on the group, I will meet an awfully familiar kind of post. This kind of post will usually sound like ‘I have 3 acres of farm at Kimilili. Kindly advise on a profitable crop I can grow as soon as possible. ‘See, there is nothing wrong with such thinking except that it increases your chances of failing by almost half. Farming is systematic. We all hope for a bountiful and high quality yield. But many are our challenges. Our fight is not only against the extremely ruthless mother nature who heavily influences our timing. But also there is the capable and viscous warriors like pests and diseases, marketing etc. You see, you can grow something and manage to get everything right but still miss on the market.
Starting your farming journey while severely fixated on the amount of money you can harvest in the shortest time possible, makes you short-sighted. And more likely to be blindsided. Over here we preach that you should transform your farm into a business, and like all other businesses, it is an investment.
Investments require patience, and God knows you will need it. You will need to carry out research. get advice from a professional, learn from your own experience. And so if you think you think that 3 monthss after investing 80,000 will automatically get you 500,000. You may be in for a big of a surprise.
Not seeking professional help.
There is a reason you go to see a doctor when you are unwell, or a lawyer when signing binding contracts. Although you may have some knowledge on these subjects, it is no where near enough compared to someone who does it professionally. The same case applies when you decide to get into farming. While you may know where to get land, seeds, and the latest fertilizer doing wonders. It does not guarantee that you will have a bountiful harvest. Unless you also want to learn from experience which is fine by us.
Always engage a professional if
- It is your first-time planting.
- You are planting a specific crop for the first time
- You have struggled in the past to get good results
Because what is the point of investing so much money and time if it is all a gamble? Might as well try the online betting sites.
Not practicing sustainable agriculture.
If you have decided you want to make a living out of agriculture or at least one of the major sources of your income, you need to be worry about the implications that your farming activities have on the environment. What was that quote about biting the hand that feeds you? The environment is our biggest resource as farmers that could both work for and against us. To be able to guarantee food security for future generations and an income for you and your family, simple steps can be taken to make your activities more environmentally friendly.
Read more on the steps you can take here: simple-steps-to-sustainable-agriculture.
One of the most under looked activities that create successful farmers is marketing. And no, we are not just talking about actually selling the final product, we are talking about other functions of marketing that will influence even the core processes in farming. Decisions like choosing variety that your targeted consumers will enjoy are some of the additional benefits of marketing. For example, growing onions for a school vs growing onions for a household will differ in the sizing.
As a rule of thumb, before planting think about your target consumers, the need you are satisfying, how you could create a rich customer experience, your competition, and pricing. Important to note like Rome, marketing efforts take time and that is why it is important to be consistent in your journey.
Doing the bare minimum.
We are all guilty of this sometimes. We know you need land, seeds, fertilizer, water, harvest. However, for truly remarkable results, one will need to do a little more than that. Plants are living things and sometimes they may need a little extra care here and there. For example, it is not just enough to water your crops, it is important to water them thoroughly and regularly depending on their needs. Tilling may work to prevent compaction but for best results, one may have to consider raising beds and boosting bio-diversity which although requires more hard work, is ultimately the right choice in the long run for both your farm and the environment in general.
If you need a guideline on how well or poorly you are doing as a farmer, you can answer this quiz (is my farm a business or not)prepared by us so that you can know exactly which areas you need to improve on.
Remember to contact us for professional help you need in order to turn your farm into a business.