For you to be successful as a modern-day farmer you have to behave like a modern-day tech entrepreneur than a peasant farmer of past days. If you want to turn things around and increase farm profitability, you must do away with traditional farming methods since the traditional models is broken and doesn’t work anymore.
Many farmers are struggling because they follow their hearts instead of doing farming as a business. The difficulties preventing farmers from getting into farming and succeeding can be overcome. Below are a few things that can improve your farm to profitability.
Study the market to increase farm profitability
Most people make a mistake of growing crops without a specific market in mind. They rush into farming business without validating the market potential of their given crop. Those who do, become a “copy-paste” kind of farmer. They validate what to grow by looking at what their neighbors are growing. Eventually the market becomes saturated with similar goods. Competition kicks in and the only way to stand out, is through lowering your prices. But that’s the best scenario, the worst-case scenario would be the marketing dictating what price you get.
To be on the safe side, start by approaching all probable market outlets about your farming ideas and then choose an enterprise based on the feedback you receive.
Choose the best Crop
Optimizing farm profitability, begins at choosing the right crop: In any given situation, clients demand more than one commodity. Under such circumstances, an entrepreneur is faced with a decision of what to select. I would advise you choose the one with a higher market price. This is so because, the cost of production is almost the same across different goods. For example, whether you need to grow tomatoes or capsicum, you’ll require land, same land preparation, and same operation cost.
But the difference is determined by how the market values a given crop. For instance, it might value tomatoes more than capsicum in which case you should go for tomatoes.
Plan in Advance
They say “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. It’s a fact that all professionals have plans. Why shouldn’t’ you have one?
Having a plan dramatically increases your probability of success. The reason why most farming ideas no matter how great never live to see the light of day, is that they neglect this vital step. Knowing this gives you unfair advantage over the rest of the farmers.
When you take your time to write a detailed farm plan, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and frustration trying to figure what to do next. And as with any agricultural produce, time is a luxury you cannot afford.
Diversify your enterprises
We normally say specialization is for insects. Not unless you’re an insect, which certainly you’re not because you’re reading this, specialization should not be on your plans. Not at least in farming. There are some other instances where specialization is paramount, but if you want farm profitability badly, you can’t afford to specialize.
For example, if you’re growing passion fruits for income, it could be a good idea to intercrop them with other vegetables such as spinach and kales. These inter-cropped short-term crops will enable you to earn some income before your main crop.
Stick to the plan
Farming is fun, as well as earning you an extra income. However, starting a farm is not a magic to riches. Its risky challenging and needs time. Farmers and agri-preneurs deal with unpredictable situations, such as crop failures and market fluctuations. One year may produce a bountiful harvest, while another may bring total devastation and little or no income.
This is all part of the business of agriculture. While some challenges might require a change of plans, it’s better to stick to your plan and learn from your mistakes. Farming is a process not an event and requires time to lead to profitability.
Invest in yourself
Continually invest on yourself to become a better farmer in the future. Take any learning moment to assist you in making better farm decisions. However, don’t try to be perfect, coz if you worry too much, you will never get anything done. Get your farm set up as soon as you can, and you can worry about learning the ins and outs of the trade later.
The first step is the most difficult but once you do that, don’t worry, you will be fine. Other learning events such as field days, open days, and libraries are all good sources of information.
Avoid short cuts
Agripreneurs have a role to play. A role to protect the integrity of the industry and restore faith in the quality food standards. When you take short-cuts you defeat the logic of protecting the industry’s integrity. Compliance to quality standards and other farm operations is key. Therefore, to safeguard your farm profitability, you need to adhere to those standards.
Pay attention to details and keep current and accurate records. Know where your money is generated and spent. Storing receipts and waiting to post figures at the end of the year is not a recommended recordkeeping system.
Good records will help you to measure your cash flow as well as to estimate the profitability of the enterprises. Alternatively, you could use cost of product calculator to calculate your income and cost of production. In addition, you will be able to access loans.
Farming is for the patient who are willing to change the world in a better way. It feels nice when you feed another person from you farm. You are wonderful person people.