By Albert Makendenge


Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm. The fear of farms in particular is called fundophobia, which comes from unpleasant experiences in and around farm settings. It is safe to say that there are quite a number of potential farmers out there who are letting this enemy of man from going after their passion. The good news is that this mental health disorder can be overcome and it only takes a little more guts to use these negative thoughts as fuel for more positive thoughts. This, when accompanied by the following tried and tested rules to starting a venture, can help hesitant wanna-be farmers to finally dip their hands in the dirt.

  • The first rule has to do with avoiding debt. It is debt that has run many farms to the ground more than drought, plague and pestilence in most cases. This, however, does not mean that farmers do not have to rely on borrowed money at all but have to do so only when it is absolutely necessary and well within acceptable limits.
  • Learning through mistakes also very important for those who are still starting. Many are afraid of failing but this is actually part of the process to future success through showing one what works well and what does not.
  • Before planning to keep that animal or grow that crop for sale, one has to find out about what the market needs are and cannot afford to rely on hope which is almost always accompanied by fear. Knowing what the market needs beforehand brings a bit of assurance.
  • The next step is choosing a farming system or activity that suits the type of land that one has. But this choice also has to fall along the range of activities that the aspiring farmer is passionate about. When the going gets tough, it is the love of the work that will keep one going.
  • Goals are good, as long as they are not too unrealistic. Setting smart, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound goals will come with a sense of direction and purpose to set the farmer well on their way to accomplishing them.
  • What other people say or think about us may end up influencing a lot of our day to day decisions. Fear, in particular, may come from those who say or think you cannot make it. Ignoring all of this and just being brave enough to follow your own dream can come with amazing and unexpected results.
  • A good sense of humor in this journey of farming can go a long way in keeping things bright, fun and enjoyable, even when faced with the possibility of risk or failure. Better yet laughing in the face of fear and proving oneself to the doubters.
  • Finally, it takes wide and extensive research, asking questions and sharing knowledge about farming that will propel young and upcoming farmers to greater heights. Seeking out knowledge builds confidence and assurance which is the complete opposite of fear.

Therefore for aspiring farmers out there who are yet to make that first step into unchartered waters because of the fear of the unknown, these are some of crucial tips that they need to apply in finally getting started. vaMudhumeni is also here to help with farming tips and ideas, that are available via our blogs and social media platforms.

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