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Before you set up that farm, know these

Most farmers come from farming families and are destined to work in the industry. The trouble for them is that they enjoy farming and get…

Most farmers come from farming families and are destined to work in the industry. The trouble for them is that they enjoy farming and get emotionally tied to their work, but everyone else in the sector is out to make money, no matter what.

It is not true if someone promises you that you can start a farm today and make a fortune in three months. Many farmers are duped by what they see on the social media or what “sweat” proposal writers put down on paper. You cannot hurry to build up farms and after a year they are under lock-and-key.

Farmers earn from their farms. And it is not as if there are more farms that fail than those that prosper. Just don’t expect to get rich as a farmer unless you are also a good businessman, administrator and enjoy working.

Some farmers keep their farms running by investing money in them, sometimes because they enjoy farming. As is often the case in Nigeria, the owner has an ‘outside job’ and the money from that employment is utilised to keep the farm running.

According to an agricultural expert, Mr Akash Priyadarshi, profiting from farming sources requires numerous critical variables, such as cautious planning, efficient management and successful marketing.

Mr  Priyadarshi listed the strategies that would assist farmers make profit from their farms below.

Have a plan: Every farm must have a business plan. It should include information like the crops or livestock you intend to cultivate, the estimated output, production cost, pricing strategy, and marketing goals. A well written plan will help you make good farm decisions, while also recognising potential challenges and opportunities.

Control expenses: Farming can be a costly business; therefore, it is critical to keep expenditures under control. This can involve lowering input costs through the use of organic fertilisers or implementing new technologies that boost efficiency and output.

Don’t rely on one income source: Consider diversifying your income streams to enhance profit. This includes selling crops or livestock through a variety of channels, such as farmers’ markets, community-supported agriculture (CSA), or direct-to-consumer sales.

Develop marketing strategy: Marketing is essential for making money from your farming source. You can use internet marketing techniques, such as the social media, email marketing and websites to reach more clients and expand the reach of your business.

Look for more opportunities: Investigate additional cash streams to supplement your current farming operation. This could include selling things like honey, eggs or other farm-based products.

Similarly, another expert, Steve Van DerLoop advised farmers to treat the farm as an entity, adding that, “The farm will have to be its own thing. It cannot be part of you; it cannot be part of anything else. Everything that goes into the farm in terms of money needs to be recorded. Everything that comes out of the farm needs to be recorded.”

The farmer must keep track of all farm expenditures. He must keep agricultural earnings separate from all other documents.

“You will need to pay the people who work on the farm; even if that is only yourself, you will need to pay yourself. The farm cannot be ‘profitable’ if it doesn’t pay for the labour done on that farm.

“You will add up all the money the farm received by selling the farm’s products. You subtract all of the amounts that the farm paid out. If anything is left, you made a profit.

“If the farm has nothing left, or more likely has a negative balance, the farm did not make a profit,” he said.

 

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