By Grace Bwogi
Many farmers simply wake up one day and start farming!
Farms must be planned, with clear objectives and interventions explained. Farm management includes decisions aimed at organizing and operating the farm for maximum profit and production. Such decisions will influence aspects like;
-Farm set-up and general management
Managing setting up the farm
Before you set up your farm, it is important to make a clear business proposal, indicating the objectives of setting up the farm.
Sources of capital and available resources must be clearly spelt out. Discuss the choice of enterprises to have on the farm and why you think they are the best.
Make sure that your plan tackles issues like the 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.
To further gather knowledge, join farm-related associations, which will help you learn from peers who are engaged in the same enterprises.
Through these associations, you will be able to attend farm-related events, for example, farming exhibitions like the Harvest Money expo, farm tours organised by the associations etc. These will further help hone your farming knowledge.
It is under this planning that you discuss the size of the enterprise. For example, if you are doing zero grazing, how many heifers do you start with? If you are doing piggery how many piglets do you start with?
How will you feed them? Sources of feeds? What is the acreage of your coffee, bananas etc? But in all this, while you draw a long-term plan, it is advised that you start small and then expand as you learn the dynamics of the enterprise. Big starters have been frustrated by losses due to lack of experience.
For example, zero grazers should not start with more than five heifers. Piggery should not start with more than five sows, poultry should not start with more than 1,000, if it is crops, 1-3acres is ok for beginners etc.
Continue the learning process by carrying out farm tours, and reading both media and the internet so that you are not left behind in new technologies.