Start a profitable small farming business
You want to start a profitable business in the agricultural sector, we tell you in just 4 steps how to start your business successfully.
Step 1: Identify your niche
Even if you know exactly what type of farming project you want to start, diving headfirst into this activity is never a good idea. Do a little market research to find out which products are in high demand in your area. This is to avoid huge transportation costs to get the goods to other destinations, so you have time to gain experience before you hit a much larger market.
Do not neglect the market research phase
You have to know who is going to buy your products, where you are going to sell them, and how you are going to sell them, while taking into account the competitors.
It’s not about developing expertise in the field, but you can do your own research by learning a little more about your potential customers, distribution channels and how to start a farm or plantation.
If you are already interested in a particular product, learn more about your local market. Visit farmers ‘or wholesalers’ markets, meet other local producers, talk to customers while you shop.
As part of the research process, also visit your local agriculture department. They will not only be able to provide you with the latest information on agriculture in your area, but they will also be able to help you determine the licenses you need to register and provide you with local information on food safety, pesticides and market access.
Step 2: Find the Right Ground
Once you have determined what you are going to grow, you must decide whether to buy land or rent it.
If you buy land, you will have full control, but you will also assume financial risk for the success of your business. This is one of the main reasons why renting land is a popular option for many new farmers. Financial risks are thus minimized and this requires reduced capital at launch.
If you are interested in renting farmland, consider finding people who own land but do not use it.
Buy your own land
Buying farmland isn’t within everyone’s reach when starting a farm or plantation, but if you think it’s the best option for you, there are some practical ways to determine where to start your business. research. I suggest that you limit your search area by considering only those areas with easy access that offer proximity to markets for your agricultural products and enough manpower around.
Before finding the people who will help you buy a land, it is useful to familiarize yourself with the elements to take into account when researching. Here are some things to consider when looking for land:
Proximity to markets: determine where you will sell your products or how you will reach the sales and distribution channels. If they are hundreds of kilometers away, it will be very difficult to get to the market. It is often easier to start locally and expand from there. With your market research, you should have a pretty good idea of where your market is.
Access to water: it is important to get water on a regular basis. So be sure to ask lots of questions and consider all of your options. How will you provide water for plants, animals and your company’s supply needs?
If the land you buy has a well, it is always useful to obtain information about this well, especially on the quality of the available water, quite to make an analysis of this water to be sure that it would not be harmful to your products.
If the property is connected to a municipal water source, knowing the price of the service can also help you determine the cost of water in the feasibility of your project.
For large projects, it would be preferable in the long term to consider installing a borehole to reduce the costs generated by the use of water.
Soil quality: As with water, good quality soil is an imperative for most farmers. Have an analysis done to find out the soil properties of your soil. Soil testing can be an important predictor of production capacity and spending. Accurate forecasts of fertilizer requirements for specific crops can be made based on test results, which break down into real value during cultivation.
Facilities and infrastructure: Depending on the type of farming project you are considering, you may also need different facilities. A fruit orchard or plantation may require an initial investment. What about cattle? Does the land include shelters for the animals you plan to raise? What about treatment facilities? Different crops and animal products will require different processing and storage facilities.
Also be sure to think of things that are not directly related to the field. What are the access routes to the land? What types of transport and roads are available to access them?
Neighbors: These can be an excellent resource or a major obstacle, depending on the case. Do they produce agricultural products? What are their production practices? Are they compatible with yours? If you plan to start an organic vegetable farm, but your neighbors water their plantation with pesticides and strong herbicides several times a year, this could have a considerable negative impact on your project.
Successful farming will be much easier if you have good relationships with your neighbors. Agriculture is a community affair. It is easier to be successful as a farmer if you have the support of your community.
In the same vein, when starting your business, consider closing your land. While installing a fence costs a lot of money, it will save you a lot of trouble and loss.
Step 3: get funded
If, like most small farmers, you have not inherited a farm, finding the money to start a farming project and make your dream come true will become an essential part of your business strategy.
Obviously, before writing your business plan, you will need to determine your cost of production. You will also need to know how much your rent will cost you.
If you have limited resources, you can avoid purchasing expensive equipment at first. Once your business takes off, you can buy what will make your life easier.
Step 4: Market and sell your products
To help you market your products, I recommend that you develop an effective marketing plan. There are many ways to market your agricultural products. Although most focus on producer or wholesale markets, there are a number of other channels you can use to market and sell your products:
You can sell your products to supermarkets. Or sign partnerships to provide hotels and restaurants.
You can consider your own outlet if you produce a wide variety of products
You can offer your products for export