Farming is one of the oldest practices of man, so we tend to think that starting it is as simple as eating food and that anyone can do farming.
It has been taken to be more of a traditional practice rather than a business, you will find someone saying; we have been farmers since childhood, my grandfather was a farmer, my parents have been farmers too since we were kids.
In some cultures, farming is seen as an activity for prestige like keeping cows; the more the cows, the more the respect you’re accorded in your society.
Some people just own farms for pleasure as they hope to visit them with friends, take pictures and relieve work stress.
Others farm for subsistence purposes; to get what to eat freely instead of buying the food and this is very important food security.
Others inherit farms for families, so it’s a matter of making sure that the farm remains existing. Most new farmers are starting farming for business to make money.
However, their too much urge for making money very fast and quickly has made them attain losses and as a result many hate farming.
So in this blog, we are going to discuss how someone is supposed to start farming for business and what steps & factors they need to consider while starting a farm enterprise.
Key Factors For Starting A Successful Farm?
Before you start farming, you will need to secure land to operate a farm. You can buy or rent land or lease for over 10years. However, the best option would be to own your land and plan for it well without limitations from the owner.
Whichever piece of land you have, it can work. You just need to have a good plan for it. As you choose the land to use, consider the following;
- Distance from the main road
- Accessibility to water
- Slope of the land
- Nature of the soil. (Black, red, stony or sandy)
- Road access
Land is a fundamental factor of production in farming so it must be considered as your plan to start farming.
Before deciding what crop to grow, you must first know the status of your soil. Whether it favors that specific crop or not.
Soil status can not be judged by just the color and texture of the soil, you must perform a soil test analysis and get the actual results.
In soil testing, you test for;
The alkalinity and acidity of the soil, soil PH ranges from 0-14 and if its below 5, then its highly acidic then if its above 7, its highly alkaline. The optimal PH level is one between 5.5-6.8 depending on the crop to be grown.
After testing, recommendations are given on how to regulate the PH to optimal.
Here we test for the availability of the main nutrient elements needed for a crop to grow like Nitrogen Phosphorous Potassium and organic matter. This helps you to know what kind of fertilize to apply and in what quantities.
Hire Us For Soil Testing Services
After securing land, you need to get all the necessary information about the enterprises you to do. You can attend trainings related to farming, visit already existing farms or go for consultancy with any agricultural company around you.
You must have the basic information before you get started and it can also be got from the internet from trusted sources like this one.
- How to prepare land
- How to plant
- Good input sources
- Management of the project
- Disease and pest control
Information is key to successful farming Don’t start farming because the neighbor or friend is doing it, don’t think you know what to do because you’ve grown seeing farms. You must do research and look for knowledge.
4. Business plan
After doing some research and getting the necessary information, you now go back to your room and draft a simple business plan.
Since we are doing farming for business, we must have a business plan for our business.
A business plan is detailed document which shows all the steps, activities and processes of starting, managing and sustaining your enterprise.
Parts Of A Business Plan
i) Production plan
It is composed of activities involved in the process of producing your farm products right from land clearing, ploughing, digging holes, setting up structures to planting.
It shows what you need to do to produce your output yield. (What to produce, how to produce, when to produce)
ii) Management plan
This shows what activities you will perform to manage and maintain your project up to yielding.
- Hiring competent farm workers
- Regular supervision weekly
- Agronomic practices recommended
- Record keeping
iii) Marketing plan
This plan shows what will be done to market and sell your farm products.
It includes; Awareness, Market research e.t.c
iv) Financial plan
Input and output projections. You must plan for all the costs involved in your project and have a working budget with projected outcome.
After drafting a business plan, you now need to finance and implement the plan. Capital is a big resource for farming as a business. You can get this from personal savings, loans, from friends and family or putting money together as a group and invest collectively.
This is a big problem mostly to youth who wish to start farming; you need to save some money to raise enough capital to start.
Farming for business needs an investment as it stated that “Garbage in Garbage out” (you can’t reap without investing)
Farming is a business that needs a lot of passion and patience. One must be passionate about what they do to realize success out of it.
If you have the passion, you will keep working no matter the challenges. Develop passion for your farm enterprises and give it your best shot; you will realize the goodies in it.
Farming needs 80% passion, and then the rest of the factors like capital come later. Most people tend to do farming with the main goal of hitting big money and they forget this important aspect.
If you don’t love it, don’t do it.
7. Farm Layout plan
You will need to design a layout plan for your land ,say you have 2 acres ,you need to know how many enterprises will you put ,where to position them.
Like the way you need a plan for your house before constructing, the same way you need a plan for your farm.
You may need to hire a consultant to help you out with planning your farm considering many factor like, soil status, slope and wind direction.
Like any other business, farming is a serious investment that needs to be treated with all the principles of business development.
If we take farming as a business surely it will give us some good dollars and change our livelihoods.
Also read: Earn Millions from Growing Bananas.