Beginners in Agriculture make the following 5 mistakes.
There is no regulation that mandates an individual to begin agricultural operation at a specific age or it has to be one definite gender or race. It’s a liberal field which accommodates young and old, in the quest to find out what to do in life.
Quite a lot of individuals fell in love with agriculture either as a course in the university or as a business which begins extra income. In whatever way this may present itself, what beginners in agriculture have in common is their ability to try out everything in their power to start and grow an agricultural business based on a piece of news, an incentive from the government or a burning heart desire.
Agriculture is a rewarding profession that requires a combination of hard work, dedication, and knowledge. Starting out as a begginer in agriculture can be challenging, as there are several common mistakes that can hinder your success.
In this article, we will discuss five common mistakes that beginners in agriculture make and provide tips on how to avoid them.
1. Starting out based on ear-say or people’s perception (Failure to plan)
This is one of the grave mistakes every business beginners in agriculture makes while starting out, especially in the era where information is easily disbursed.
About a few years ago, people were running helter shelters to plant cassava because they found out from other farmers that the price of garri was going up (which implies more money for farmers).
In the subsequent harvest, the price of cassava fell drastically and most beginners in agriculture went into a loss.
The mistake was a result of a lack of quality research, this is not to say the business can still fail.
However, the margin of failure has been reduced by 50% if you research the market you are entering. To adequately do this:
Here is what to do
- Find out the top 10 companies/organisation in that product
- Look out for a mentor whom you can serve under
- Document and record your day-to-day activities periodically
- Create a detailed business plan that outlines your goals, budget, and timelines.
- Conduct market research to determine the demand for your crops and identify potential customers
2. Ignoring Soil Health
In various aspects of various agricultural operations such as crop cultivation and animal husbandry, soil health is crucial to its success
For example in the cultivation of fruit crops, it’s important you supplement the soil with fertilizer after periodical planting cycles. in snails or even poultry farming, the soil harbours pests which could be detrimental to the health of animals
Beginners in agriculture often neglect this aspect and fail to properly prepare their soil for planting. Healthy soil provides the necessary nutrients for crops to grow and thrive.
- Test your soil regularly to determine its pH level and nutrient content.
- Amend the soil with compost or fertilizer as needed.
- Consider using cover crops to help improve soil health and prevent erosion.
- Mulch as often as possible
- Treat soil around animals’ pens with utmost care
3: Overreliance on Pesticides
While pesticides can be effective in controlling pests and diseases, overreliance on them can harm the environment and reduce the quality of your crops. Beginners in agriculture often make the mistake of using too many pesticides, which can lead to pesticide resistance and harm beneficial insects.
Tip: Practice integrated pest management (IPM) by using a combination of strategies to control pests, such as crop rotation, companion planting, and natural predators. Use pesticides only as a last resort and follow label instructions carefully.
4: Underestimating Labor Costs
Agriculture could be a labour-intensive profession, and labour costs can quickly add up. A beginner in agriculture often underestimates the amount of labour required to run a farm and may struggle to keep up with demand, click here to know more on how to manage resourses.
- Calculate your labour costs carefully
- Plan to hire additional help during peak seasons.
- Consider using technology and
- Automate to reduce labour costs where possible.
5: Ignoring Marketing
Marketing is a crucial aspect of any business, including farming. Beginners in agriculture often make the mistake of ignoring marketing and relying solely on word-of-mouth to attract customers.
- Develop a marketing plan that includes a website, social media presence, and promotional materials such as business cards and brochures.
- Attend local farmers’ markets and events to showcase your products
- Collaborate and build relationships with various scopes of customers
In conclusion, starting out as a beginner in agriculture can be challenging, but by avoiding these common mistakes beginners in agriculture make and following these tips, you can increase your chances of success. With hard work and dedication, you can build a successful and rewarding career in agriculture, also checkout some guides in growing agric products.