Farming as a Business

As a farmer, your financial investments should be rewarded with profits. If that’s not the case then something is wrong with your business. It’s either you are investing more in crops that won’t give you much returns or you are producing crops that are not suitable for that piece of land. Either way you are in trouble. The sooner you diagnose the problem the better. Of course, some low value crops can provide economic benefits beyond their direct value for example they can be used in rotation to suppress diseases and that would be a win-win situation, right?

Let’s look at maize production for example, looking at the numbers you might actually realize that the cost of production will be always be a problem. Exorbitant input prices? This wasn’t the case long back when they used to be government subsidies but now the farmer is on his own.  What do you do in such a situation? Do you abandon farming completely and let that land go to waste? Absolutely not. Unless you are producing for your livestock, there is absolutely no reason for you to continue increasing that hectarage for maize. However, this is not to suggest that farmers should completely abandon producing such crops. You can always go up the value chain and start making stock feeds. This is to say everything a farmer does must make economic sense.

A wise farmer would reduce that maize field and focus more on growing high value crops like open field and green house horticulture or even take the longer route by venturing into fruit tree production. As many people are becoming health conscious, it is ideal and profitable to focus on avocadoes (Hass), oranges, and papaya (paw paw).

Everything is worth a try because you never know where your breakthrough is!

By Lynette Simango

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