Agriculture is one of the most important industries not only in Africa but also in the world. It is key to producing nutritious food and raw materials for agribusiness industries. It creates the much-needed direct employment as well as indirect employment.

The structure of the agricultural world has really shifted in the past century. It is offering great potential in terms of adaptation of improved technologies


  • For you to be successful as a modern-day farmer you must behave like a modern-day tech entrepreneur than a peasant farmer of past days.
  • Do away with traditional farming methods since the traditional models is broken and doesn’t work anymore.

Tips on Farming to Profitability.

  1. Study the market

Most people make a mistake of growing crops without a specific market in mind. They rush into farming business without validating the market potential of their given crop. Those who do, become a “copy-paste” kind of farmer. They validate what to grow by looking at what their neighbors are growing. Eventually the market becomes saturated with similar goods. Competition kicks in and the only way to stand out, is through lowering your prices. But that’s the best scenario, the worst-case scenario would be the marketing dictating what price you get.

To be on the safe side, start by approaching all probable market outlets about your farming ideas and then choose an enterprise based on the feedback you receive.

  1. Choose the best Crop/livestock

Optimizing farm profitability, begins at choosing the right crop: In any given situation, clients demand more than one commodity. Under such circumstances, an entrepreneur is faced with a decision of what to select. Choose the one with a higher market price. This is so because, the cost of production is almost the same across different goods. For example, whether you need to grow tomatoes or capsicum, you’ll require land, same land preparation, and same operation cost.

But the difference is determined by how the market values a given crop. For instance, it might value tomatoes more than capsicum in which case you should go for tomatoes.

3.   Learn the Ins and Outs of Your chosen crop or livestock

In farming, learning as you go is simply not an option. There are many ways farmers can learn. You can visit Farmer Training centers, or enroll in formal colleges, and universities that offer degrees and certificates in agriculture. 

Another option is to first work alongside a seasoned farmer as an apprentice or farmhand to learn about farming.

Farmer organizations such as EMEDEN Kenya Farmers also have resources available on how to start a small farm, as well. Choose the agricultural education option that makes the most sense for your preferences and lifestyle. 

  1. Plan in Advance

They say “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. It’s a fact that all professionals have plans. Why shouldn’t’ you have one?

A small farm is a business that requires quite a bit of overhead. You’ll need land, equipment, labor, licensing, insurance and more. There is also the option for farmers to buy a functioning farm, but that still requires quite a bit of capital to get started.

Starting a small farm is said to cost over $1500 if you own the land or more if you are buying or leasing.  

Having a plan dramatically increases your probability of success. The reason why most farming ideas no matter how great never live to see the light of day, is that they neglect this vital step. Knowing this gives you unfair advantage over the rest of the farmers.

When you take your time to write a detailed farm plan, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and frustration trying to figure what to do next. And as with any agricultural produce, time is a luxury you cannot afford.

5.   Strategize and Prepare 

How you plan your small farm will depend on what you have chosen to produce.

If you are growing crops, ensure the fertility of your land. Choosing how to enrich your soil will depend on your thoughts on sustainability. For example, you may choose to fertilize your land naturally with compost and manure or use chemical fertilizers.

You will have to consider issues of water availability such as the need for irrigation or reliance on rainwater

If you are raising livestock, you must build the appropriate structures as well as consider the purpose for which you are keeping the livestock. Whether you are raising livestock for meat, eggs, milk, wool or other by-products will determine what sort of structure you will build.

  1. Diversify your enterprises

We normally say specialization is for insects. Not unless you’re an insect, which certainly you’re not because you’re reading this, specialization should not be on your plans. Not at least in farming. There are some other instances where specialization is paramount, but if you want farm profitability badly, you can’t afford to specialize.

For example, if you’re growing passion fruits for income, it could be a good idea to intercrop them with other vegetables such as spinach and kales. These inter-cropped short-term crops will enable you to earn some income before your main crop.

  1. Stick to the plan

Farming is fun, as well as earning you an extra income. However, starting a farm is not a magic to riches. Its risky challenging and needs time. Farmers and agri-preneurs deal with unpredictable situations, such as crop failures and market fluctuations. One year may produce a bountiful harvest, while another may bring total devastation and little or no income.

This is all part of the business of agriculture. While some challenges might require a change of plans, it’s better to stick to your plan and learn from your mistakes. Farming is a process not an event and requires time to lead to profitability.

  1. Invest in yourself

Continually invest on yourself to become a better farmer in the future. Take any learning moment to assist you in making better farm decisions. However, don’t try to be perfect, coz if you worry too much, you will never get anything done. Get your farm set up as soon as you can, and you can worry about learning the ins and outs of the trade later.

The first step is the most difficult but once you do that, don’t worry, you will be fine. Other learning events such as field days, open days, and libraries are all good sources of information.

  1. Avoid short cuts

Agripreneurs have a role to play. A role to protect the integrity of the industry and restore faith in the quality food standards. When you take short-cuts, you defeat the logic of protecting the industry’s integrity. Compliance to quality standards and other farm operations is key. Therefore, to safeguard your farm profitability, you need to adhere to those standards.

  1. Practice Book-keeping

Pay attention to details and keep current and accurate records. Know where your money is generated and spent. Storing receipts and waiting to post figures at the end of the year is not a recommended recordkeeping system.

Good records will help you to measure your cash flow as well as to estimate the profitability of the enterprises. Alternatively, you could use cost of product calculator to calculate your income and cost of production. In addition, you will be able to access loans.

Farming is for the patient who are willing to change the world in a better way. It feels nice when you feed another person from you farm. You are wonderful person people

Common types of farms businesses. 

  1. Crops

A visit to any farm produce section of a grocery store or farmers market will reveal dozens of different kinds of fruits and vegetables. They range from cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, onions, indigenous vegetables, cabbages, leeks, potatoes, carrots and coriander among others. The options are endless when you decide to start a produce farm and sell at farmers markets. 

  1. Dairy and Livestock 

The livestock industry is diverse, ranging from dairy, sheep, goat, poultry, rabbit and beekeeping. The world is seeing new types of demands as health-conscious people are starting to lean towards meat that is hormone and antibiotic-free. 

  1. Fish

Fish farming is a unique type of farming that raises fish in either tanks or contained bodies of water. Farming in tanks gives producers more control over the fish’s environment with the opportunity to control and manage a healthy environment for fish.

  1. Flowers

Flower farming is one of the most profitable farming businesses. They are very seasonal and require specific growing conditions. A flower farmer can become a regional, national, or even international supplier for florists. There is also the option to become a florist yourselves where you can specialize in delivered arrangements, weddings, funerals and more.

  1. Specialty Farms

Specialty farms focus on one or more specialty where in addition to production offer an opportunity to learn about farming. They may look like a small shop on the farm or a fine dining experience. It could also be a farm offering a tour experience to other farmers and visitors.

Examples include:

  • Fruit farm
  • Poultry farm
  • Dairy farm
  • Apiary
  • Bonsai farms
  • Fish farm
  1. Energy 

This is a type of farming that is rarely talked but offers great potential. For example, the growing of energy crops, which are grown to replace coal and other fossil fuels. Examples include blue gum and wattle trees

Others include solar and wind farming. A solar farm is a large lot of land in a sunny area that is filled with solar panels while a wind farm has windmills in windy areas such as near the ocean or on top of hills.

Energy farms create sustainable energy that has a net negative carbon dioxide production. 

  1. Entertainment

This is a farm targeting people who previously lived on farms in their childhood but now live in urban areas. It can also target those who have never lived on a farm. Typically, entertainment farm is created to bring those lovely memories typical of people who grew up in farms. Examples include: 

  • U-pick farms (strawberries, blueberries and more)
  • Petting zoos for petting animals
  • In season farms such as maize, beans, pumpkin, hay
  • Horse stables (for horseback riding)
  • Poultry farm for eating out
  • Goat farm for eating roast goat meat





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