Farming Becoming Increasingly A Money Generating Enterprise

Whether you have been brought up in a region where farming is practiced or just joining the farming industry it is worth taking the time to know the steps you need to follow in order to be successful in the farming business.

Farming Becoming Increasingly A Money Generating Enterprise
Dr. Magbwe Enoth(C), Cristian Tiperu(R) and Ali Mambo(L) in an organically grown farm-gate for sorghum [Photo| Lioto Samuel]

By Lioto Samuel Raymond

NIMULE, 02 February 2016 [Gurtong]- Knowing what's available and where to go for advice can be just as important as starting any other business venture.

In an interview with an agricultural consultant, who was also a farmer expert working for the Norwegian peoples’ aid, a non-governmental organization supporting livelihoods and agriculture in the region, Dr. Enoth Magbwe farming is increasingly becoming a money–generating enterprise in Nimule.

Enoth said that Nimule’s economy largely remains dependent on the agricultural sector whereby the two major avenues of income for a farm business are using the farm land and leasing the land to another farmer.

“If you do lack the necessary background or experience in farming, you may wish to lease the land to an experienced farmer,” said Magbwe.

He takes us through the necessary steps one must take in order to farm.

“As a first step, invest in the necessary infrastructure if you decide to farm the land yourself. The infrastructure may include various equipment such as a tractor or an ox-plough and a fence surrounding your land. Speak with other local farmers to obtain recommendations on which infrastructure you may need. Look around in your area for agro-input dealers, tillage services, irrigation services and others.”

“The next step is to work on hiring workers for the farm. Unless the farm is small, it is likely you will need assistance performing many activities, such as planting, harvesting and raising animals,” said Magbwe.

Knowing what kind of crops sell more in the region one must do their research well before deciding what kind of farming they are getting into. Will it generate money? Will it give you the profits you expect? Those are some of the questions one must ask themselves.

“If you want to make good money from farming, try investing in researching the money-making crops and animals to raise on your farm to be able to turn the highest profits. Your research should include, speaking with other farmers about their experiences. For example, you may wish to grow tomatoes because they are on a high demand in the nearest urban center or market. Upon completion of your research, develop and execute a plan for a farm.”

“One way of knowing the profitability of an enterprise is by use of gross margins. These are computed as gross revenue less operating (variable) costs of production. The computation of gross margins requires three major types of information, i.e farm-gate prices which are calculated as the session median farm-gate prices per kilogram, enterprise yields and per-unit variable costs of production.” He said.

“Once you have harvested your crops, endeavor to sell them at a price higher than the investment costs. This should also apply to the animals or their products. For the crops, you must factor in not only the costs of seeds, water, animal feed and other tangible costs, but also the cost of labor. Increase your profit by selling in greater volume.” Said Dr. Magbwe.

However he said that the market may not always purchase goods and animals at a profit, and that there is no reliable method to always sell for a profit, as prices are driven by the market, which is the opposite in South Sudan in times of an economic meltdown.

The Magbwe added that, the most profitable farm markets typically are niche markets, such as organically grown vegetables. These niche markets command a higher profit and are more consistently profitable.

“Let us avoid a scenario of what we often see today where it has become fashionable to tell people that you are going to your farm over the weekend, and yet in reality, the farm is making enormous losses. Practice farming as a serious business.” He said.

“For those who may have huge chunks of land, try to lease your land to a potential serious farmer or a farming company if you lack skills or capital to operate a farm.” He said.

“Your lease might include, in addition to a monthly regular payment, a share of the profits of the farm. This may be an effective way to make a profit if you can secure a lessee who is an experienced farmer.”

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