Farming is a demanding task, it needs a lot of experience and practical skills in terms of handling the farm work as well as teaching others how to do the work. If you are already a fulltime farmer or you are considering of taking it as a part time job, then you should have the following skills with you.
1. Business Management Skills
Do you manage your farm, or you just do it for fun? The modern world if changing and farming is no longer a hobby or just a thing done for the sake, its considered as “farm business”. For a farmer to gain a lot from farming business, he or she ought to take it seriously and consider it as a business. Farmers need to take training management courses which in turn will help them in taking their farming business to another level. You need to have a clear business plan and where you want to be in the next few years. The following management skills;
- People Management Skills
- Financial Management Skills
- Business Management
- Sales and Marketing Skills
- Planning and Organizational Skills
2. Livestock and crop farming Skills
Conduct Enough Research
Those farmers who want to venture into arable farming need knowledge on how to grow crops, control pests, use fertilizers. On the other hand, those interested in livestock farming should learn how to raise farm animals. There are several forums in mainstream media in Kenya that are highlighting how farmers are successive in various endeavors. However, farmers should not always go blindly into it without conducting enough independent research on their own. Farming just like any other job requires you to have enough information and skills.
Maintenance of soil fertility
These are skills that involve operations, practices, and treatments used to preserve, protect soil and enhance its performance. Soil management practices include;
- Controlling traffic on the soil surface helps to reduce soil compaction, which can reduce aeration and water infiltration.
- Cover crops keep the soil anchored and covered in off-seasons so that the soil is not eroded by wind and rain.
- Crop rotations for row crops alternate high-residue crops with lower-residue crops to increase the amount of plant material left on the surface of the soil during the year to protect the soil from erosion.
- Nutrient management can help to improve the fertility of the soil and the amount of organic matter content, which improves soil structure and function.
- Tillage, especially reduced-tillage or no-till operations limit the amount of soil disturbance while cultivating a new crop, and help to maintain plant residues on the surface of the soil for erosion protection and water retention.
Benefits of soil management
- Restore soil fertility
- Maintain soil fertility
- Make the agricultural process an economic one
- Help increase yield
Farming is not just a matter of growing a particular crop or feeding a certain kind of livestock. It ought to be taken seriously all year round. Take it as a business, keep records, have a business plan, execute well and you will not regret. Farming if taken seriously can make you money.