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How To Have A Clearly Planned Farming In 2023

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By Joshua Kato And Grace Bwogi    

2022 is coming to an end and farmers are setting sights on 2023. A lot of things have worked for you in 2022 but many others failed. One of the reasons things may not have worked out is that you never planned properly. In 2023, it is important that you plan your farm practices at the beginning of the year and lay them down clearly. There are several questions that you can put on the table in order to guide your planning. For example, if you are going to acquire new equipment, what is the source of capital? What is the source of the equipment? Is it locally available or imported? How many pieces do you need?

-There is need to budget for every aspect of expenditure at the farm. Have a clear projection of the earnings and expenditures. If you are likely to get funding from ‘other sources’ indicate these sources. 

-If you are setting up new ventures on the farm, get your staff and close family members to discuss the choice of enterprises to have on the farm this year and why you think they are the best.  Make sure that your plan tackles issues like quality of your product, Proximity to the market, freshness to the consumers and timely delivery to the market. Discuss sources of farm inputs for your farm, for example, if you are going to keep goats, find out the source of the goats as well as the different breeds that may suit your objectives.

-There were disappointments in 2022 and you even contemplated jumping out of the trade all together. You started imagining that things cannot work out! Make sure that there is no procrastination this year; this leads to disorientation and finally loss of interest. In any bad situation, pick out the positives and stop lamenting.  

-You must create a calendar for the vital farm activities at the beginning of the year. Make sure that it includes the hard tasks such as vaccinating animals, spraying crops, planting seasons, harvesting seasons, a storage plan etc. Pin the calendar schedule in a prominent part of your farm and try to follow it religiously. 

-If you depend on the normal rainy seasons, try to follow weather predictions by the meteology department so that you do not miss the schedule of the rains. However, if you are growing crops using irrigation, plan to harvest during periods of scarcity or what is called ‘off season’ so that you earn more money. If you depend on irrigation, make sure that the water source is secure and full of water and the delivery system which includes pipes are okay.  

-In case you have any activity on any day, plan to do it in the morning; this is because that is when you are still fresh. Doing activities later in the day has a lot of disruptions.

-Agri-tourism is now a major money earner for farms these days. However, schedule when to receive visitors; farms these days receive visitors in form of farm tours. However, set up specific days when they should visit so that you do not come in anytime that they wish.  Having a fixed schedule in place helps you plan and organize the visits and trainings effectively.

-Schedule time for relaxation after an accomplished big task; this can be after the season harvests, for example. Remember work without play will affect your general performance in subsequent activities. Relaxing is not only for the farm owners but also for the workers. Activities may include bonding activities like playing games, visiting other agri-tourism sights and farms.  

-On top of the long term schedule and records, write everything to do in a day. This will give you daily tick offs and an easy follow up of the farm activities. Have a daily work schedule for the workers too, this will ease evaluation of their activities every month and every quota.  

-Planning ahead is key to time management. If for example you need to plant at the beginning of March 2023, start planning the fields now and stock the seeds early. If you intend to stock broilers for the Easter season, book the day old chicks at least in January.

-If you are not permanently on the farm, plan to give more time to the farm activities. If you don’t stay at the farm, go there at least three times a week. If you can afford, set up a CCTV camera to monitor the activities. Like one veteran farmer said, “A farmers foot is the best manure’. 

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