How to start farming
Farming is the cultivation of crop or keeping of animals for food, raw materials and money. Farming is one of the oldest professions in the world. Without farming, we will all starve to death. Farming is as important to mankind as medicine and other life saving professions.
A wise man once said that everybody should wake up every day by thanking the farmers who provided the food they eat.
In the time past in Nigeria, farming is seen as a profession for the poor and never do wells, however, times have changed and people have realized that some of the most successful and richest businessmen in the world are farmers. The imminent collapse of the crude oil market has also been an incentive for the wholesome take up of farming as a profession or business venture by the educated and the elites.
Steps to take before you start farming
Pick your choice: Do you want to go into crop cultivation like tomato farming or animal husbandry or both. It is very important you choose the type of farming you have passion for. Do you like to interact and care for animals? Are you at peace with nature? Ask yourself questions and pick a field of agriculture you want to engage in.
Assess your skills: To be a successful farmer, you need to have the skills to run a farm. If you do not have the skills, you will need to assemble a team that possesses the required farming skills. As a starter, you may want to understudy a farm and learn how it operates. Academic knowledge of farming is good but the hand on experience is better. I have seen Masters Degree holders in Agronomy who could not successfully run their farms because they lack the necessary practical skills.
Assemble assets: You may want to acquire or rent a farmland. You need to put the assets needed together. Assets needed by a farm include tractors, hoes, cutlasses, tillers, sprayers, animal pens, borehole and irrigation. You need to carefully list out all the assets and inputs you need for the farm. Missing out key assets may cost you your money and profit.Get a Free 5-day Course on How to Make Money from Precision Farming/Agribusiness
Human capital: Your employees or farm hands are your biggest assets. They can make or mar your farming business. You should carefully select good hands to help you achieve your farming business objectives. Employing experienced hands has an advantage over just recruiting those with zero experience. You may need to employ skilled and unskilled hands depending on the scale of your farming business.
Start farming: In the case of crops cultivation, you start farming after you have installed your irrigation kits, purchased seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, sprayers, cutlasses, hoes, tractors, plough and all the inputs needed. The soil must be weeded and prepared for planting.
For animal husbandry, you need to have built the animal pen, get all inputs needed like feed, watering system and medications etc.
Marketing: Like all other businesses, marketing is key. Do you want to sell your produce in the open unstructured markets? Do you want to sell in the more organized market? Do you want to sell to contract offtakers? What are your marketing strategies? Your marketing research should start from day one of planning to start a farm.
Do not delay marketing till when your produce is ready for harvest.
Ongoing operations: You need to constantly improve your operations. Learn from your mistakes and capitalize on your successes. Do not let an initial failure derail your plans. Try again and try to avoid making past mistakes.
Starting small is not a sin but have your eyes on the bigger picture.
For advisory on how to start your farm, optimize your farm business profit and agronomic advisory, you can contact Veggie Grow Limited here.