All about planning to farm crops

Saturday March 27 2021

Seed plot with vigorous potato plants.

By Editor

The weatherman is predicating early next month the onset of the first rainy season of 2021. I have a piece of land and I wish to venture into farming, but I do not know how to proceed. Please advise. Prospective farmer 

Dear farmer 
First of all, you need to select a suitable site on your farm where you will establish your crops. Therefore, do careful planning of the layout and then do the actual production. In planning a farm, consider the following:

Decide which vegetable crops to grow. This will depend on the demands of the available market and climate. Study the market carefully and adjust production accordingly.

Decide on which system you are going to use, for instance, open vs. protected.

After deciding on the range of crops to be grown and the systems, the layout of the land must be planned.
Care is needed because if a bad layout is carried out initially, it will be costly to change. Remember roads, irrigation pipelines or buildings are involved.

Cropping plan 
Work out the rotation plan to be followed and details of the cropping plan. This should be done early enough.


Land preparation
The cost of clearing and preparing land must be considered. It is important to plan for the required labour, especially if manual labour would be used.

Fencing and windbreaks
If fencing or wind break is needed, decide on the type and material to be used as well as the placement.

Compost area
Decide on the location of the compost area and whether you will need a compost heap or pit.  A compost heap/pit is necessary to provide a place for the disposal of organic debris and also it serves as a source of organic matter for use on the farm. It is generally located close to the nursery, in an area which is unsuitable for crop production.

Nursery sitting
Lightly shaded areas are preferred or you may construct a lath house. Preferably, nursery area should be utmost two per cent of total area. You will also need to decide on the type of nursery to use: seedbed or containerised. If seedbed, raise, flat or sunken.