For this post, we invited the the folks at Locagro, an agribusiness located in Nsawam – Ghana that is focused on market facilitation for farmers. Enjoy!
- You have always dreamt of becoming a farmer, growing food not just for yourself but for your greater community. You yearn to work with the soil, and are prepared for a life in the country side with intellectual challenges and uncertain finances. Your day begins before the sun is risen. Your wellington boots and the smell of dew in the morning with your feet pressing firmly on the land you have acquired for this farming venture. It’s a clear morning and you feel good being outside, watching the vast stretch of green landscape.
Let’s jump to ta few steps
- Why do you want to farm? If you want to be successful, you should think about why you want to start a farm. Is it for profit? A hobby? Your own contribution to society? To contribute to environmental sustainability? This is because your motivation for starting farming business will direct your strategy.
- Identifying your niche? Even if you know exactly what type of farm business you want to start, jumping head first is never a good idea. Market research will help you know what you want to grow, who is going to buy your products, where you’ll sell them and how you will do this (LOCAGRO).
- Finding the right land? Now that you’ve figured out what you’re going to farm, you need to buy or lease land. If you buy land, you’ll have complete control of its use, but you will assume financial risk for the success of your enterprise. Leasing land however minimises financial risk and requires reduced capital at the onset. Consider your 1. Proximity to markets 2. Access to water 3. Soil quality 4. Facilities and infrastructure
- Write a Business Plan: Remember that farming is a business. As with other businesses a business plan or model is important. This tackles transferring the vision in your head onto paper so that others can understand and support it. Numbers, budgets and spreadsheets also help with the financials (Locagro Template Available). Get farm business advice and support, this includes insights into specific aspects of production with crops and animals. Locagro service centre offers some of the most critical services such as help finalising business plan and conversation planning.
- Identify your market before you start this farming business: before you start also figure out who is going to buy my produce, where you’re going to sell your products and how you’re going to do it. Get a backup plan because there’s a 68% chance you’re going to need them.
- Know your funding options: consider your financing options as this new venture takes time to yield results (like every other business). What we normally don’t recommend is taking credit or loans when starting. You’ll be best served to invest profits straight back into the farm. Your business plan will also offer comprehensive financing options for your business.
Finally, managing risk through diversification, financial management and the ability to withstand a couple of bad days. Start small, for most beginners we advise starting small to allow you time for details to be worked out, including learning. This also mitigates the size and scope of problems that will arise with time.
Kindly answer these Questions
- Why do you want to start farming?
- Have you already acquired land?
- What crop/ animals do you have in mind?
- Are you going to be engaged full time?
- Who else will you employ for this venture?
Contact us for additional information on Farming101 (insights and services on specific crops and animals – at a fee)