When you decide to become a farmer

Monday August 5 2019

Michael J. Ssali

Michael J. Ssali 

By Michael J. Ssali

Some people become farmers in their early youth and many others begin later, after years of formal employment.
However there are important considerations to make before making the decision to go into farming. You have to be certain about what you want to do --- it could be livestock or crop production.
You will need some understanding of how it is done and the costs involved. Visiting a few successful farmers could give you an idea about how things go.
You will also need to establish the market or the demand for the goods you want to produce.
Remember that besides farming for subsistence you need cash and that your success will largely depend on how you manage your finances.
Good farmers keep books of accounts where they record production costs, sales, and whatever other transactions.
When your farm fails to feed your family or to make sufficient profits it becomes difficult to sustain.
Do you have the land or the space where you want to do farming? Does it belong to you or are you going to hire it?
Do you have any ownership or hiring documents for that land? Do you have the money to use as capital?
It is no use setting out to rear chickens or pigs and then running out of cash for purchasing feeds and medicines. You do not want to set up farm structures and irrigation water pipes only to be asked to vacate the place a few years later because of land tenure issues.
You must be prepared for some occasional worries resulting from unpredictable weather conditions.
Long droughts can make pasture and water for your animals scarce and thus reduce farm production. Rainstorms can destroy all the crops on the farm.
Farmers always worry about pests and labour problems. Some labourers desert work without notice, others drink too much, while many are thieves. Sometimes it is the high production costs that become the big headache.
Feeds prices sometimes go up and reduce profits. It is also important to remember that farming, like all other enterprises, cannot satisfy all your life’s needs and desires.
— ssalimichaelj@gmail.com