How to Set Up a Crop or Livestock Farm

Setting Up a Crop and Livestock Farm

Starting a farm is by no means an easy task, it involves a lot of factors which the farmer would have to take into consideration before setting up a farm.

I would advise the potential farmer to consider if he/she has a passion for agriculture and is willing to have the patience and tenacity required to successfully run a farm.

The farmer is expected to visit existing farms in the locality of the potential farm and gather information into requirement needed to setup a farm. This would help in choosing the right crop/livestock to invest in. it should be noted that certain crops as well as livestock are more profitable in certain climes than others. For example crops like rice should be planted only in areas where water can be readily accessed or provision for its irrigation can be made, other crops such as maize are not profitable in some areas due to produce being purchased at prices which are not suitable for the farmer. Livestock production such as pig farming would not be marketable in northern parts of the country due to a bad market for pork meat.

Extensive research should be able to answer most of these questions:

  • List of profitable crops/ livestock for intended location.
  • Financial requirement for setting up a farm for select crops or livestock
  • Climate history of location, planting / harvest seasons for crops, effect of climate on livestock animals
  • Preventive measures employed in farms to handle pests and diseases in crops and livestock
  • Methods of storing and transporting farm produce to market
  • Information about market for crops/ livestock, when to sell produce, where to sell produce and prices to sell produce
Agriculture whether crop or livestock production can be capital intensivedepending on the scale of the farm, it is expected that the farmer should be well informed about financial requirements for setting up and maintaining a farm before steady return on investment.

Expenses to be considered by the farmer include but not limited to:

  • Land purchase
  • Equipment purchase
  • Manual Labour
  • Purchase of seeds for crop production or young ones of animals for livestock production.
  • Recurrent expenditures such as purchase of fertilizers and Pests / Diseases control Management
  • Feed purchase for live stock
After considering these factors the potential farmer should go ahead to draw up a business plan, this should contain strategic steps to be taken in running the farm and meeting the farms goals and target.

A typical farm business plan should include:

1) What crop to grow, livestock to produce or would the farmer practice mixed farming.

2) Type of feed to use in farm and how to obtain them

2) Location of the farm. Including information about its climate and how accessible it is to the market.

3) Farms financial requirements and how they are to be met.

4) Mode of Operation. i.e full time or part time. Would the farm require staffs or help?

A good business plan should answer the above questions based on practical information obtained through research performed earlier. Problems in agriculture vary from different locale but by familiarizing with other farmers, the potential farmer would gain adequate experience to overcome these hurdles.

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