Agribusiness is profitable and the solution to youth unemployment in Kenya. For you to start an agribusiness venture you must have adequate capital to jump-start your business. Having capital is one of the most important factors when starting a business for this will enable you to get things rolling, however money is not the only thing you need. If you want to be a successful farmer, you’ll to need to research all the material out there you can find on farming.
There usually basic skills that every beginner farmer needs. These are;
- Farm Operations Skills: This is the general farm management skills that you need to perform day to day basic duties on the farm
- Crop and Animal Management Skills: These skills are important because they will enable you to grow or raise your animals e.g. How to grow, How to raise animals, Harvesting etc
- Interpersonal Skills: Agricultural professionals who work in the supply chain management, interpersonal skills are incredibly important. You are routinely required to interact with farmers who produce the farm products, and deliver these goods to other companies and institutions. Having strong interpersonal skills is necessary for those involved in sales, marketing, advertising or an area of expertise that relies heavily on strategic communication
- Value Chain Knowledge: When you get into farming you need to be well versed with the value chain or value addition process. The value chain involves a full range of value adding activities required to bring a product or service through the different phases of production, including procurement of raw materials and other inputs. Knowing how to add value to your produce will be helpful to you on how to generate more profit.
- Time Management: Beginner farmers need to know how to manage their time as they practice farming. Farmers are tasked with ensuring that farm produce are properly transported, stored and delivered from producer, to wholesaler, to consumer. This is very important to ensure success of the business.
- Technical Skills: These are agricultural technical skills on how to use farm implements, disease management and direction on farm chemicals. If you are doing dairy farming you need to go for training to get practical and theoretical knowledge on how to take care of your herd. The same applies to crop production and other animal husbandry.
- Marketing Skills: Most agricultural produce are marketable on their own because they are among the basic human needs. However this does not necessarily mean that marketing is not important in farming. For that matter, this assumption often leads to post-harvest loss due to lack of market. This often arises when there is a surplus of a specific commodity in your region and more marketing action are needed to sell your farm produce elsewhere.
- Record Keeping: Every farmer needs to have a record keeping system in place as they engage in agribusiness. This will enable them to have a systematic flow of inputs and outputs on their farms. It will also control financial issues that arise on the farm by showing the flow of money within the agribusiness enterprise i.e where the money has come from and where it was spent (Income and Expenses). Softwares that help you to manage your farm records and keep your finances in order include Financial Management Software, Dairy Management Software, Crop Production Software.
Agribusiness Management Specialist