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5 ways in which farm management systems solve problems in the fruit farming supply chain

farm management systems

Managing a farmer’s supply chain is sometimes complicated. They are susceptible to many issues such as squeezing margins, fruit availability, vendor pricing, market accessibility, and fruit quality. Farm management systems are essential tools in farms and food processing industries.

In the food and beverage sector, the percentage of availability of fruits to the consumers and factories is still low. For instance, despite the increasing number of wineries in Kenya and Europe, we still can’t sustain the lucrative grape market. The demand curve for wine and table grapes have been going upwards throughout. After the opening of the Chinese and Mauritius’ market for avocados, the supply is still low despite the rising population and more consumption of the fruit. Buyers have one complaint in common; obtaining the desired quantity and quantity is an issue.

What Does This Mean?

The agriculture supply chains are quite complicated. Processing companies order specific fruits to farmers either to make value-added products such as macadamia in making cosmetics and chocolate using macadamia, wine using grapes, and juices using fruits such as oranges. When the fruits get to the warehouse, however, the processors are unable to process the entire product.

There are some questions which when posed to an executive at a fruit processing company they will barely be capable of providing a detailed answer. Maybe they won’t even have an answer for that. They include:

  1. How many fruits will the farmer produce?
  2. Is the farmer using the most efficient farming techniques to enhance fruit quality?
  3. Can the farmer sustain the customer?
  4. Are the set targets achieved and realistic?
  5. What are food processing companies doing to ensure that the farmer produces the desired quantity?
  6. How do farmers cope with price changes?
  7. Is the farmer doing fruit farming as an agribusiness and are they making a significant profit?
  8. What should farmers do to enhance the productivity of their trees?

Processing companies are one of the largest consumers of fruits such as grapes and macadamia and hence have a couple of farmers/producers in their value chain. This means there are a lot of questions on how they handle their supply chains.

What can Processing Companies do to Answer These Questions?

The most efficient way of answering these questions is by acquiring real-time data from the farmers or producers. This will help them to come up with efficient plans especially in meeting targets, sales, marketing, and strategies.

With the rapid advancements in technology, many companies in agriculture are embracing these innovations into their supply chains. Implementing farm management systems is one of the most effective ways of solving the problems that farmers and fruit processing factories face. Farmers and buyers can use the same system but with different features.

5 Ways in Which Farm Management Systems Solve Problems in the Fruit Farming Supply Chain

Cost-saving

When doing farming as an agribusiness, monitoring a farmer’s accounts in one system is a good way of improving traceability, farming techniques employed, and supply chain management. Performing all management tasks in one place can help the farmer cut costs of orchard management, agronomy support, and marketing.

Reducing risk

Providing real-time data helps processing companies and consumers to know the employed farming practices, the fruit quality, and produce that they can deliver. The rising concern on extensive use of pesticides is sparkling fear to consumers, especially in the export market. A platform with real-time data on pesticide use assures consumers and processors that the fruits are safe.

Traceability

Farm management systems provide an insight into how fruit processors and farmers are adhering to the set industry standards. 

Quality

Fruit quality is essential element the agriculture subsector. No buyer is willing to invest in low-quality fruits. Having a user-friendly dashboard can help farmers know the best farming practices they should employ to enhance production and fruit quality. At the same time, it can help buyers fruit quality before approaching the farmer.

Transferring knowledge

Having many farmers and buyers in a centralized system provides an ideal ground for farmers to share information on how they can enhance productivity and have higher bargaining power.  

When venturing into fruit farming, looking for help is essential. Whenever you are looking for agronomy support or want to kickstart your venture with high-quality seedlings, Oxfarm Ag Ltd will always assist you. Since every industry is embracing innovations in technology, we at Oxfarm would be happy to see you apply these advancements in your orchard.

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Top 5 sustainable farming and environmental-friendly practices

Large-scale agriculture has caused massive destruction to the environment. With the rising awareness of environmental harm, most farmers are shifting to eco-friendly practices. Intense carbon outputs, extensive pesticide use, and massive deforestation to create room for farming have fueled the negative impacts of climate change. This has forced policymakers to advocate for sustainable and environmental-friendly practices to overcome the adverse effects. Currently, the demands of fruits have been increasing in the local and export market. To promote green environments, fruit farming can be a good measure to counter climate change and environmental pollution. Some top sustainable and eco-friendly practices include:

Permaculture

This incorporates growing fruits and cover crops in a way similar to how plants grow in natural environments. It involves extensive application of smart farming to enhance production efficiency and minimize wastage of resources. Permaculture includes growing cover crops such as grain and vegetables without tillage, planting fruit seedlings such as grapevines and strawberry on raised beds, and creating swales to hold water. 

Aquaponics & Hydroponics

These are innovative farming practices that incorporate planting fruits and vegetables without any soil. Plants are provided with water-soluble nutrients that are carried by water. Hydroponics contain sophisticated systems, especially in commercial fruit and vegetable farming. Once they are dissolved in the water, mineral solutions are absorbed by the plants’ roots and taken up to all the tissues. For effectiveness, hydroponic systems are integrated with aquaponics systems. Fish produce waste which provides nutrients that are required to enhance plant growth. He plants purify the water which then gets back to the aquaponics systems and the cycle begins again. This farming technique is efficient when growing vegetables and fruits such as strawberry. The method is not efficient for woody plants such as avocado and citrus.

Using Renewable Energy Resources

Sustainable farming involves the application of eco-friendly sources of energy such as solar power, wind power, or hydropower. In drier regions such as Moyale, Kitui, and Mandera, irrigation has to be done during the dry season to keep the plants growing. Solar panels can be used for power-pumping and fertigation systems. Hydroelectric power can be used to run farm machinery. Utilizing natural sources of energy to run farm equipment can help cut down the orchard management costs.

Crop Rotation

Planting one crop at the same place for a long time increases the chances of vegetable and plant diseases. Crop rotation and crop diversification can be used to minimize the chances of diseases such as bacterial wilt and rust. This practice can reduce fertilizer and chemical use.

Fruit farming

Agroforestry is one of the most efficient ways of promoting sustainable farming. Sustainable agriculture incorporates the application of syntropic agroforestry, regenerative farming, and forest gardens. Fruit farming is one of the most profitable agribusinesses. With the increasing awareness of green environments, planting profitable trees is the best way to promote agroforestry. This is a win-win situation for both the farmer and the environment. Growing fruit trees reduces carbon levels and enhances biodiversity. To the farmer, fruit trees can be a good source of income, especially when done as an agribusiness.

Sustainable farming is a key factor in minimizing climate change. Sustainability should be ensured to promote environmental protection and at the same time increasing production capabilities. Grow crops passion and practice smart passion farming in well-managed agroforestry systems. Promote biodiversity and invest in fruit farming. For high-quality seedlings, contact Oxfarm Ag Ltd and kickstart your farming agribusiness.