Are you new in farming? Well, here is a quick tip: Do not plant your whole farm at once! This will land you into big problems.
No one should ever lie to you that farming is not profitable. Farming just like any other business has its tips and tricks to success. Success in farming comes through good growth at the farm level and good sales during marketing.
If you ever plant your whole farm with vegetables at the same time, you will get production booms instead of continuous crop production. Continous crop production is what farmers need to satisfy daily, weekly or bi-weekly demand. This demand is usually assessed by where you are selling your crops and how large your market is.
I had a 1 acre Sukuma Wiki farm when I first got into farming. Things were going on well and I used to harvest weekly. I had a reliable buyer who used to buy from me every week. The farm produced 20 bags weekly and he used to take it all. The cash flow was quite good at the time and I decided it was time to expand. I grew two more acres of Sukuma Wiki and this where my supply trouble began. My normal buyer could only handle 1 acre and I was left with a lot of products that no one wanted to buy. I had to give the extra produce to our cows.
The reason for my failure back then was not because there was no market for the extra Sukuma Wiki. The market was there, but for small orders. Most buyers told me that they only needed a bag or two on a daily basis. Only large players could handle 20 bags weekly. You see, Kenya is dominated by small vendor players at the market (mama mbogas). They will gladly pay up if you deliver the right quantity of each item they need. The only catch is that you have to transport your farm goods to them at the marketplace very early in the morning. They also like consistency. This is when I realized the following:
- Horticulture works best if you are growing a variety of crops in small quantities to fill up the larger space and stage them to maintain consistency.
- Invest in a transportation system that will be cost-efficient in transporting vegetables daily/weekly.
If you get this right you will be able to get constant sales regardless of demand and price fluctuations.
So how do you plan your farm growth stages?
- Market Survey and Analysis: Do a market survey and determine what buyers want. A potential buyer ranges from brokers, mama mbogas to the end customer like you and me. Use what you know about crop production estimates, demand volume, and growing time to calculate how much vegetables you need to be harvesting and planting each week.
- Space: Multiply weekly demand by the weeks in the crop’s “turn” to determine how much space you will need for that supply. Don’t exceed your space! Know your financial and supply capability. This will help you grow naturally and progress beyond your wildest imagination. 🙂