Integrated farming- Is it a Yey or Ney?

By Lynette Simango

Integrated farming is a form of agriculture aimed at minimizing the use of inputs from outside the farm by implementing a variety of production enterprises, long and diversified crop rotations, crop residue, or animal excreta restitution to the soil. Farmers feel like they have made it in life when they practice integrated farming but is it that profitable. You get on a farm and you see a variety of projects running -beef, piggery, fish farming, horticulture, mushroom production and you wonder if it’s really working out for the farmer. They will boast about the profits they will be making but what if they have potential to do even more but there is a ‘parasitic project’ draining them of some of the profits?

One expert in agriculture once said some farmers don’t realize that doing one enterprise and investing fully in it will give them better returns than doing many projects at once. There are some projects that will be breaking even or making losses but always survive on another projects’ profits- the parasitic projects. You need to identify those and get rid of them, and the only way you can do that is through analyzing financial records that is if you were even recording anything. You need to know as a farmer that there is a difference between recording and analyzing. It’s only a full analysis of those financial records that will reveal to you which projects have been performing well and which ones weren’t and also what’s the way forward.

Get rid of parasitic projects now or they’ll always cost you!

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