The unavailability of sufficient land for traditional farming practices such as large-scale animal husbandry or crop farming has discouraged many to turn to farming.
There is however hope, do not despair. The trick is to do with what you have. Yes, small farms on limited land do yield profits. We need to be creative with farming and adapt it to our circumstances.
For this week’s column, I have, therefore, opted to compile a list of possible farming modes you can take when pressed for land as we all are.
A tree nursery can be a great investment when done right. Most farmers start with 10 to 20 seedlings in a small area, and with the right marketing strategy, they would have the baby trees sold out before they mature. You can buy small trees, or raise them from scratch.
Spend some time researching how to organically source the trees you want to grow. Fruit tree propagation, for example, can be done by grafting or budding (joining parts from multiple plants), and this increases your chances of producing the same variety of trees as opposed to using seeds. AgriToday previously featured a farmer in northern Namibia who has made a success of this venture.
You can start a fish farm either by creating fishponds or investing in fish tanks; it’s a highly scalable business idea. Once you have the proper knowledge of fish raising, you will be able to decide the type of fish to raise.
Fish such as tilapia, cod, and catfish are very popular choices because they are quite easy to raise and are generally in high demand. Small-scale farmers are the usual suppliers of fish in their local supermarkets and restaurants.
The decision as to which fish you want to raise will ultimately rely on your skills, financial capacity, market demand, and agro-climatic condition.
Small dairy farming can be a lucrative investment for farmers in rural areas if they can supply the local market demand. Don’t think big at the moment; simply concentrate on fully catering for your immediate community.
People are now more conscious of what they put in their food and appreciate how these plants contribute to a better dining experience. When starting your own herb garden, make sure to emphasise variety and choose the ones that are in demand so they’re easy to sell. You can start a herb business with small roadside sales from your backyard, selling herbs that you cut, the plants, seeds, or all three.
Hydroponics is the process of growing crops with nutrient-rich water kept in contact with the plant roots instead of using soil. This process significantly reduces the risk of wastage and pollution that can harm the produce and cause diseases, making it popular to health-conscious consumers. The minimal use of land area needed makes hydroponics a low-cost investment.
Mushrooms are relatively easy to cultivate, considering that they can grow in the wild, even in the harshest of conditions. Making a profitable business out of mushroom farming will depend on knowing which mushroom strain to cultivate and how to maximise your production, enough to become a steady supplier to other businesses.
It only takes an average of six weeks to grow and harvest mushrooms that are ready to be sold.
I saved poultry farming for last, deliberately so. There is no doubt that this form of farming remains one of the most profitable small businesses one can venture into with limited capital too.
Poultry farming allows you to supply poultry products to other businesses. As there is consistent demand for poultry products, it remains an attractive investment option for potential farm owners. Learn as much about the business as possible, including finding the right location and getting ready with all the requirements to get started.