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Farmers' Kraal with Charles Tjatindi - Is farming profitable?

2021-06-08  Charles Tjatindi

Farmers' Kraal with Charles Tjatindi - Is farming profitable?
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 Many people, especially novice farmers and others interested in agriculture, have been pondering one question; is farming profitable? Well, the short answer is ‹yes›. But it is not a given. You have to sweat for it. 

  As it is, the views on this are already divided. Frankly speaking, there is logic in every argument - for or against farming. For some, it is a source of great income leading to wealth, and for others, it’s an unprofitable business where they only lose their entire life savings. So what is the truth about farming? 

  To fully comprehend this topic, you would need to have a little bit of extra drive, hope and resilience in your farming dream to believe that you can make a living off agriculture. Consider this; If farming was not profitable, why would so many people still do it? 

 Here is why; the key to understanding if farming is profitable is realising that farming is a business like any other business. Any business is profitable, as long as the product it is offering is answering a community problem or community needs. Every business is profitable when there is a demand for products it offers.

 In other words, if you produce sheep at a time and place where there is no demand for sheep or its value is not high – then your sheep farming will not have the chance to be profitable. It simply will not solve any human needs, so it will not be needed and well paid.

 However, if there is a high demand for charcoal in your area and you start to produce charcoal in such a place, you will solve the community problem and ensure the supply of charcoal which will, in turn, earn good money. This is the basic rule of trade and you must always be aware of it as a farmer. Any business solving people’s problems is always profitable.

 As a result, a farmer in the 21st century ceases to be just a farmer, and in order to earn good money, he must also become a businessman, manager, and often also a good seller and market analyst. Because of technological changes and new styles of farming, a lot of things changed in the agricultural sector. 

 Skills traditionally required to be a successful farmer are no longer sufficient. Farming has been professionalised such that you need to be a skilled capital and general business manager in order to be successful in most markets. To qualify the assertion regarding profitability above, then, it must be made clear that the farmers who are able to turn a profit today are not necessarily the same farmers who were able to succeed a few decades ago.

 It›s not all a lost cause. Find a place where you can be secure from flooding, drought and animals with a decent amount of topsoil. A good location is a key to profitable farming. It is important to be close to customers and food distributors (crop distributors) where you can exchange manufactured agricultural products for money.

 Know the local market where produce is given value. Talk to people, have contacts. Educate yourself. Observe and explore new agricultural technologies and innovations, learn how to cultivate land more efficiently, discover new more profitable crops to grow.

 Do pre-planning. Before you start growing, analyse what is most profitable to grow, where best to sell crops, and how much it will cost and how much more or less you earn.

 Diversify your farming. Crop rotation can break insect and disease cycles, reduce weeds, curb erosion and reduce economic risk. That gives diversity not only for soil life but also diversity for income.

 All in all, live the dream. Success won›t be instant, it›s a process. Remember, you will literally reap what you sow. Start sowing the fruits of success now.

2021-06-08  Charles Tjatindi

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