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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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What are the basic characteristics of a successful farm manager?

Most people believe that farming is quite a simple job and for this reason, they often underestimate farmers. However, farming is a very complex activity that demands a lot of hard work and proper management. Everyone can grow crops. Still, not everyone can be a successful farm manager. You could be having all the money, but you can’t run a farm.

You therefore end up employing a manager to manage and carry out duties associated with the day-to-day and long-term management of a farm. It is their responsibility to ensure that the farm runs efficiently and profitably. Their day-to-day activities will depend on the type of farm being managed

Being a successful farm manager means producing optimal yield and quality crops, while at the same time making a profit and managing farm sustainably. This is something every farmer strives to.

Characteristics of a Successful Farm Manager

While striving to achieve successful farm business, many farmers ask themselves are they doing the right thing. In doing so, they often wonder employ managers to manage a farm efficiently. So, what are the most important characteristics of a successful farm manager.

There is no unique formula for success. However, a successful farm manager is a person who meets these three important characteristics:

Organized and skilled in managing farm activities

A successful farmer always knows how many work hours were spent on each farm activity, field and farm season. Depending on the number of work hours, a farm manager can determine whether a certain activity took more time than planned and then track how it affects further production and farm finances.

Tracking work hours also facilitates making decisions regarding future farm activities. Based on data about work hours spent on a certain farm activity, a farmer can organize future activities and plan how much workers or work hours will be needed to manage the following activities.

Being organized and skilled in managing farm activities also includes tracking the efficiency of each worker. While some workers are efficient, others can lack behind. In that case, a farmer is able to pay workers based on their efficiency, which is particularly important for farmers who hire seasonal workers, usually during the harvest.

Besides tracking work hours and the efficiency of each worker, successful farmers also track work cost for each farm activity, field, and season. In doing so, they know how much a certain farm activity costs, which makes future planning and finance management easier.

Hass Avocado and Macadamia farming will Improve Lives “ Kiraitu Murungi”

 Open-minded to new technologies

Traditional farming methods are being overtaken by new technological ways. Today, growing crops is much more than just cultivating the soil. Various farm sensors, drones, advanced tractors with automated steering systems, farm management software, and many other remarkable technologies are changing the way food is produced. Agriculture, known as a traditional and outdated activity, is now modernized and smart.

Every improvement in farm technology is oriented towards farmer’s productivity. Farmers who are open-minded to new technologies, today have the true opportunity to improve their production. In other words, the only thing that stands between a farmer and success is his own will to change his approach and accept modernized and improved agricultural solutions.

Data-driven manager

In order to increase farm productivity and profitability, while at the same time reduce risks and costs, successful farmers make decisions based on data.

Data-driven farm management is the only safe way for resource utilization. For instance, some farmers practice pest protection, fertilization, and many other activities based on their feeling. In doing so, they often spend their resources without knowing whether it’s really necessary, which usually results in higher costs and less efficient farm management. Therefore, tracking the usage of resources per each crop, field, and season, is extremely important to achieve productive and profitable crop production.

Besides that, successful farm managers always know which crops are productive and which lack behind.

Tracking crop productivity, as well as sales and expenses, can reveal valuable information and facilitate making serious decisions which determine the further direction of farm management.

Being a successful farmer requires a lot of hard work and knowledge. In order to manage a farm efficiently, the farmer needs to have a certain level of organization, which is sometimes hard to achieve. For this reason, farmers who are striving to achieve successful crop production and manage a farm efficiently, always make data-driven decision.

Your farm manager is the link between you and success.