Tips for starting out in farming
Let's have a look at some of the top tips, you should consider when venturing into agri-business.
You Need to Have Passion for Agriculture
Before entertaining the thought of diving into agriculture, ask yourself if you have any interest whatsoever in agriculture? The returns might sound enticing, but are you the kind of person who likes plants or animals and taking care of them? Have you previously done anything to do with agriculture? Do you even have a kitchen garden? If you hate the thought of dirt on your hands, then agribusiness is not for you
Identify Your Area of Interest
After assuring yourself that indeed agriculture is one of your passions, then start analyzing what area to focus on. You cannot excel in agribusiness if you are a jack of all trades. Pick one area and focus on it. If chicken farming is your thing then pursue it entirely.
Do Your Research
After clearly defining your area of interest, get information about it. You will require technical knowledge about that crop or livestock you have narrowed down to. You need to know the best practice(s) that will yield best results. Identify the opportunities available in your chosen field. Find out how you can strategically add value, to what exists to gain an advantage over your competitors
Getting into agribusiness without a business plan is like shooting your foot and later wondering why you cannot walk. Have a clear business plan and assess the risks of your business. Agribusiness has money making in it. You therefore have to treat it like any other business. Dry run planning will reduce the possibility of your venture failing
In addition, consider all the requirements necessary to start off your business. Do you have land? If you don’t, how do you intend to acquire one? How much will it cost? How far is the land from your nearest selling point? What will be your means of transport and how much does it cost?
Start with the End in Mind
Market is the end in business. The primary goal of getting into agribusiness is to make profit. Before you get into any form of agribusiness, find out if there is a market for your product and seek a thorough understanding of that market. This saves you the hassle, of having a product and no market for it in the long run
Have Some Savings
To set up a business you need money. To get into agribusiness will also require you to invest generously, before you start reaping anything. My advice is that you stay clear of loans if you can and invest your savings instead. Agribusiness is risky for a starter. You are safer investing your savings, than investing money that you do not have, a.k.a loans
Do not Invest all Your Life Savings
Since you are taking a risk by investing in agribusiness, you should have some money put aside in case things do not work out as planned
Get to know people. Make friends in the agribusiness sector both online and offline; this way you will have people to share your experience with and to learn from. Join farmer groups on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. Contribute to agricultural discussions online
Most importantly, cultivate healthy relationships with your suppliers and customers.
Agribusiness is just like any other business; it has its fair share of risks. In fact, I would rate it as a high risk business. You need a neat mix of tough skin and passion to survive. Numerous challenges will come your way and you have to be committed,to the venture to get back on your feet every so often. Your entire crop might dry up due to a strange disease, and there will be little that you can do. Your commitment to that business will drive you to continue despite, such painful disappointments
Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is insanity. This is one of my favourite aphorisms because it’s true! If after three years, you realize that you have not made any profit in your agribusiness venture, then perhaps it’s time to pitch tent elsewhere. Keep an open mind and be ready to exit when the time comes
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