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Make Your Farm More Profitable

by Harvest Money Editor
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1. Keep costs down.
Starting small and growing while learning can save you a lot of money. Farmers in Uganda tend to associate large scale with bigger profits, which is usually wrong. One acre of well-managed banana plantation makes more economic sense than 10 poorly managed acres.

2. Try for low inputs.
Have a good water system and save every drop of water. It is easier to send livestock to water than to haul water to them. Rain water is a free resource that you can utilise.

3. Do things on time.
Seasonal work like farming requires timeliness. A few days’ delay in treating, planting, weeding and harvesting can make a big different in the quality and quantity of harvest you get.

4. Plan your farm to minimise work load. By strategically locating key structures like buildings, feed stores, gardens and water sources, you will increase your efficiency.
Develop a system of production that balances farm resources and labour. Small compact operations decrease travel and task completion time. If you are into poultry keeping, consider buying automated drinkers and feeders, to save on labour costs.

5. Keep good records.
Knowing the cost of producing each of the crops or animals will help you determine the selling price of each, so that you don’t make a loss.
This is particularly important with enterprises like broiler chicken rearing, where the profit margin is often a few hundred shillings.
Ugandan farmers tend to treat all the income from their sales as profit, which gives a wrong picture of their farm’s performance

6. Learn basic veterinarian skills.
It pays to learn basic livestock skills like delivery, castration, immunising and dehorning.
Learn carpentry, electrical and machinery skills. Learning the basic skills helps to cut costs. Besides, most farms are in rural areas where people who are skilled in these fields are not readily available.

7. Learn how to look after animals and keep gentle livestock. Nervous livestock are more difficult to look after and multiply and grow at a slower rate than gentle livestock that can be treated as pets.

8. Take good care of your buildings, machinery and livestock. When things are better taken care of and inspected frequently, maintenance and replacement costs decrease. A well-looked after cow will grow faster, give higher yields of milk and meat and will not fall sick often.

9. Maintain or improve the soil fertility. Processes through which you can increase fertility include composting, green manure and animal manure spreading or grazing.
Use crop rotations. Rotations can increase soil fertility and help control weeds, diseases and erosion.

10. Have an emergency source of feeds, in case your usual supply gets cut off due to lack of transport, shortage on the market or unfavourable weather.

11. Work with, rather than against nature. To be economically profitable and socially acceptable, your farm must be environmentally sound. If you cut down trees, use chemicals indiscriminately and dump waste anyhow, the soils will become barren and the water sources will dry up or become polluted.

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