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FARMING, the consensus so far [11]
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FARMING; the consensus so far
amorphous
#1 Posted : Thursday, December 03, 2020 6:47:40 AM
Rank: Member


Joined: 5/15/2019
Posts: 625
Location: planet earth
1. Avoid maize, beans, sukuma wiki/anything that everybody else is doing unless you love tears. In addition..do not believe 80% of the rosy "success" stories in farming on sites like these and neatly packaged in the blogs and newspapers. Most are lies tupu or written by people who have never stepped foot in a shamba. Do for self and learn first on a small scale and then run with what works for YOU.
2. Start with 1 acre or less. in fact even 1/4 is very huge for a beginner farmer. If you cannot hack these smaller parcels first, rest assured you will not hack anything bigger.
3. Plant what very few other people are planting yet has high demand (looking to what we import due to deficits - grains excepted -here is a good clue). High value crops are always your best bet.
4. Low tech and roaring profits are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
5. A hardworking, knowledgeable and trustworthy farm manager is everything
6. Animals (even kuku) are labour, knowledge and disease control intensive..WACHANA NAZO unless you are on site and hands on and they are truly your passion
7. 99.99% of Kenyans do not value add. If you can, you are light years ahead of the game.
8. Bila maji source, pack your bags and go home and become a blogger or salaried man/woman
9. Reinvest every shiny shilling back into your farm
10. Proper and appealing branding, branding, branding..see 7 above. Know your market and their needs

Advanced principles;

11. Since 99% of farmers are monoculturists, you are way ahead of the game if you can figure out how to crack the code away from that losers game in your favour.

12. Never sell from a position of weakness. Always from a position of strength.

13. Related to 12 above. TAKE YOUR TIME at the research/experimentation stage on your shamba. Research turned into experiential learning (practical doing/failing on a small scale) are the best teachers. Better to spend a full year researching and experimenting on a microscale and then make money for the next 100 years, than to go big from day one and lose your shirt (and possibly the farm) when you fail miserably and start crying premium tears!!

Agree? Disagree?
Zingine zako?

NIMESEMA!

New Normal!
Gathige
#2 Posted : Thursday, December 03, 2020 7:33:47 AM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 3/29/2011
Posts: 2,226
14. Avoid BROKERS and link with the market directly. Brokers strangle the farmers literally reaping where they did not sow.
"Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least." Goethe
amorphous
#3 Posted : Thursday, December 03, 2020 8:00:02 AM
Rank: Member


Joined: 5/15/2019
Posts: 625
Location: planet earth
Gathige wrote:
14. Avoid BROKERS and link with the market directly. Brokers strangle the farmers literally reaping where they did not sow.


Excellent tip. Indeed with all the tools available to the average person from a few button clicks on the phone, it makes no sense to sell to a vulture (broker). Hata afadahli as a worst case scenario, one packs the produce into a van and sells by the street by themselves!

http://www.xinhuanet.com...8-10/25/c_137555826.htm


Quote:
NAIROBI, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Simon Mutua is an auditor working in Kenya's capital Nairobi, but on the side, he is a beekeeper in Kibwezi, his rural home, some 150 km from Nairobi.

Every weekend, Mutua travels to his rural home to check on his bee project, with his parents who stay on the farm helping him manage the insects when he is not around.

"I have 30 hives and each offers me at least 15 kg (of honey) after every three months," he said on Wednesday.

For the last two weeks, Mutua, 34, has been harvesting honey from 10 hives, with the product flying off the shelves as soon as it leaves the hives.

He attributes the fast sale to social media, through which he exclusively markets his produce.

"A week before I start harvesting, I post on my social media page inviting buyers. People then book and I process the orders," said Mutua, who mainly uses Facebook and WhatsApp apps to sell the products.

"I never go out looking for market but people come for the produce from me," he said.

Mutua is among an increasing number of young farmers in the east African country who exclusively use social media to get lucrative market for their produce.

As older farmers stick to the traditional way of selling produce to brokers, the younger generation have embraced social media and bypassed middlemen to reach consumers directly.

The newer mode of sale has also fetched higher prices, enabling the farmers to earn more.

"I sell a kilo of honey at 8 U.S. dollars to consumers. If I was to sell the honey to a trader, he would buy at half the amount or even less," noted Mutua.

Farmer Collins Akutu, 28, who keeps poultry, says he sells his broilers through WhatsApp groups. He is preparing for a boom as Christmas season approaches.

"I belong to at least 15 WhatsApp groups. These are for people I work with, live with at the estate and at school," he said, adding it's the fastest and easiest way to sell.

He posts photos of his chickens and their prices online, either through WhatsApp or on Facebook.

"Some people pay through mobile money and then I deliver" he said. "So far, so good."

Kenyan farmers often complain of being exploited by traders who according to studies reap up to twice as much as the producers.

The brokers, for instance, now buy an extended bag of potatoes that weighs 110 kg at 20 dollars and sell it at nearly double the price.

Most of the time they go for the produce from farmers on the farm, using their bargaining power to their advantage, especially when there is glut.

"Social media marketing challenges this model that has been in existence for ages," said Bernard Mwaso, a consultant with Edell IT Solution in Nairobi. "It puts the farmer at an advantage because they can reach thousands of consumers directly and therefore sell at better prices."


Farmers also get extension services through social media platforms.

"Every time I detect a pest or disease on my tomatoes, I take a photo and post to a farmers' WhatsApp group I belong to and get immediate answers," said Derrick Ngugi, who farms tomatoes.

Bernard Moina, an agricultural officer in Kitale, noted that social media has made work easier for extension officers. He belongs to four farmers' WhatsApp group, and answers their questions that they regularly ask.

New Normal!
newfarer
#4 Posted : Thursday, December 03, 2020 9:35:33 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 3/19/2010
Posts: 3,503
Location: Uganda
amorphous wrote:
1. Avoid maize, beans, sukuma wiki/anything that everybody else is doing unless you love tears. In addition..do not believe 80% of the rosy "success" stories in farming on sites like these and neatly packaged in the blogs and newspapers. Most are lies tupu or written by people who have never stepped foot in a shamba. Do for self and learn first on a small scale and then run with what works for YOU.
2. Start with 1 acre or less. in fact even 1/4 is very huge for a beginner farmer. If you cannot hack these smaller parcels first, rest assured you will not hack anything bigger.
3. Plant what very few other people are planting yet has high demand (looking to what we import due to deficits - grains excepted -here is a good clue). High value crops are always your best bet.
4. Low tech and roaring profits are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
5. A hardworking, knowledgeable and trustworthy farm manager is everything
6. Animals (even kuku) are labour, knowledge and disease control intensive..WACHANA NAZO unless you are on site and hands on and they are truly your passion
7. 99.99% of Kenyans do not value add. If you can, you are light years ahead of the game.
8. Bila maji source, pack your bags and go home and become a blogger or salaried man/woman
9. Reinvest every shiny shilling back into your farm
10. Proper and appealing branding, branding, branding..see 7 above. Know your market and their needs

Advanced principles;

11. Since 99% of farmers are monoculturists, you are way ahead of the game if you can figure out how to crack the code away from that losers game in your favour.

12. Never sell from a position of weakness. Always from a position of strength.

13. Related to 12 above. TAKE YOUR TIME at the research/experimentation stage on your shamba. Research turned into experiential learning (practical doing/failing on a small scale) are the best teachers. Better to spend a full year researching and experimenting on a microscale and then make money for the next 100 years, than to go big from day one and lose your shirt (and possibly the farm) when you fail miserably and start crying premium tears!!

Agree? Disagree?
Zingine zako?

NIMESEMA!


This is my next frontier.God willing about 90 km from Nairobi on thika route.1 acre available with reliable water source.keep the notes coming
punda amecheka
Angelica _ann
#5 Posted : Friday, December 04, 2020 3:43:59 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 12/7/2012
Posts: 11,819
A reliable water source is a must for all type/kind of farming.
In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins - cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later - H Geneen
amorphous
#6 Posted : Saturday, December 05, 2020 11:18:40 AM
Rank: Member


Joined: 5/15/2019
Posts: 625
Location: planet earth
newfarer wrote:

This is my next frontier.God willing about 90 km from Nairobi on thika route.1 acre available with reliable water source.keep the notes coming



Will do. Let's keep exchanging notes. Farming is very lucrative if done right, in fact most of the wealthy middle classes around the world are farmers. Operative phrase being "if done right." If done wrong, all that farming leads to is chaos, premium tears, problems and (in India) suicide!
https://www.france24.com...farmer-suicides-in-india
New Normal!
Gathige
#7 Posted : Sunday, December 06, 2020 4:36:44 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 3/29/2011
Posts: 2,226
15. Avoid being a primary producer and focus on secondary level. The primary production level is actually saturated and profits are minimal. At a secondary level, the actors are minimal and that's where good margins are. Some of the newer ideas at this level includes value addition, aggregation of produce/bulking and storage. Consider a simple case, I sated of doing a dairy farm as a primary producer, you can be an agrregator of milk from local farmers and bulk sell in volumes to a producer at a better margin. However risks are higher at this level but so are the returns.

16. Records. Records. Records. If there is one factor of production that was missed esp as it applies to farming is TIME. This is captured in records. A heifer on heat has to be served at the right time, crops have to be sprayed at a specific time, vaccination has to be done then and then. You miss you miss.
"Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least." Goethe
amorphous
#8 Posted : Monday, December 07, 2020 8:33:26 AM
Rank: Member


Joined: 5/15/2019
Posts: 625
Location: planet earth
Gathige wrote:
15. Avoid being a primary producer and focus on secondary level. The primary production level is actually saturated and profits are minimal. At a secondary level, the actors are minimal and that's where good margins are. Some of the newer ideas at this level includes value addition, aggregation of produce/bulking and storage. Consider a simple case, I sated of doing a dairy farm as a primary producer, you can be an agrregator of milk from local farmers and bulk sell in volumes to a producer at a better margin. However risks are higher at this level but so are the returns.

16. Records. Records. Records. If there is one factor of production that was missed esp as it applies to farming is TIME. This is captured in records. A heifer on heat has to be served at the right time, crops have to be sprayed at a specific time, vaccination has to be done then and then. You miss you miss.


Great tips. I am especially passionate about value addition. I love for example what these guys have done;

Http://www.gibscoffee.com


It absolutely makes no sense for educated farmers in Kenya (some with multiple degrees from majuu!) to be exporting raw beans and leaves in this day and age. Some simple roasting equipment, branding and packaging and marketing is all it takes to increase one's margins significantly. I also love what this lady has done in Nigeria Applause

Http://www.losheschocolate.com

Importing everything including toothpicks jameni in this day and age is comical at best, yet we primary produce almost all the requisite raw materials to process finished goods and at high quality too.
New Normal!
newfarer
#9 Posted : Friday, January 29, 2021 11:38:08 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 3/19/2010
Posts: 3,503
Location: Uganda
amorphous wrote:
1. Avoid maize, beans, sukuma wiki/anything that everybody else is doing unless you love tears. In addition..do not believe 80% of the rosy "success" stories in farming on sites like these and neatly packaged in the blogs and newspapers. Most are lies tupu or written by people who have never stepped foot in a shamba. Do for self and learn first on a small scale and then run with what works for YOU.
2. Start with 1 acre or less. in fact even 1/4 is very huge for a beginner farmer. If you cannot hack these smaller parcels first, rest assured you will not hack anything bigger.
3. Plant what very few other people are planting yet has high demand (looking to what we import due to deficits - grains excepted -here is a good clue). High value crops are always your best bet.
4. Low tech and roaring profits are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
5. A hardworking, knowledgeable and trustworthy farm manager is everything
6. Animals (even kuku) are labour, knowledge and disease control intensive..WACHANA NAZO unless you are on site and hands on and they are truly your passion
7. 99.99% of Kenyans do not value add. If you can, you are light years ahead of the game.
8. Bila maji source, pack your bags and go home and become a blogger or salaried man/woman
9. Reinvest every shiny shilling back into your farm
10. Proper and appealing branding, branding, branding..see 7 above. Know your market and their needs

Advanced principles;

11. Since 99% of farmers are monoculturists, you are way ahead of the game if you can figure out how to crack the code away from that losers game in your favour.

12. Never sell from a position of weakness. Always from a position of strength.

13. Related to 12 above. TAKE YOUR TIME at the research/experimentation stage on your shamba. Research turned into experiential learning (practical doing/failing on a small scale) are the best teachers. Better to spend a full year researching and experimenting on a microscale and then make money for the next 100 years, than to go big from day one and lose your shirt (and possibly the farm) when you fail miserably and start crying premium tears!!

Agree? Disagree?
Zingine zako?

NIMESEMA!


I was thinking for maize and beans ,Kenya's staple food,you can't go very wrong if not in a hurry to sell.you dry and store well till the prices rise.they are easy to manage if there is a distance from your usual residence as once you plant you just weed ,add fertilizer if rain fed viola

punda amecheka
amorphous
#10 Posted : Tuesday, February 09, 2021 5:48:53 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 5/15/2019
Posts: 625
Location: planet earth
newfarer wrote:

I was thinking for maize and beans ,Kenya's staple food,you can't go very wrong if not in a hurry to sell.you dry and store well till the prices rise.they are easy to manage if there is a distance from your usual residence as once you plant you just weed ,add fertilizer if rain fed viola



Interesting. Please let us know how it goes. For me I guess maize and beans would make sense if I was dealing with 50 acres or more due to economies of scale.


New Normal!
amorphous
#11 Posted : Tuesday, February 09, 2021 5:50:30 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 5/15/2019
Posts: 625
Location: planet earth
Very smart mamas!

Why sell leaves for peanuts when you can pool together, buy some tusimple tumachines twa China and sell a brand that you can mint well from? I love this!


New Normal!
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