Agribusiness ventures are profitable if they are done in a correct way and can act as a solution to youth unemployment in Zimbabwe. Capital is usually the main limiting factor for one to venture into any agribusiness project since capital enables one to kick-start the business.
If you want to be successful in your venture, you will need to research and read all the material out there you can find concerning your intended venture and also to network with other successful individuals in that area.
There are several basic skills or things you require in order for your agribusiness venture to be successful. These include:
This involves full knowledge of general day to day duties on your agribusiness venture. It also involves crop and animal management skills. These skills are important because they will enable you to grow or raise your animals successfully. Usually this is obtained as a result of training by specialists or employing well knowledgeable individuals.
These also play a key role in contributing to the success of your agribusiness venture. You are routinely required to interact with farmers who produce the farm products, and deliver these goods to other companies and institutions. Having strong interpersonal skills is necessary for those involved in sales, marketing, advertising or an area of expertise that relies heavily on strategic communication. With these interpersonal skills you establish the correct network of individuals and this will result in the success of your venture.
Value Chain Knowledge
This is also a requirement before you start your agricultural venture. When you get into farming you need to be well versed with the value chain or value addition process. The value chain involves a full range of value adding activities required to bring a product or service through the different phases of production, including procurement of raw materials and other inputs. Knowing how to add value to your produce will be helpful to you on how to generate more profit. It is also important to understand the value chain as this will give you information on how your product will reach the consumer.
It is an important skill which you should have before you start. Beginner farmers need to know how to manage their time as they start farming. Almost every activity in farming has its own time for instance it’s important to know planting dates of certain crops. Farmers are tasked with ensuring that farm produce are properly transported, stored and delivered from producer, to wholesaler, to consumer at the required time. This is very important to ensure success of the business.
This must be there also before you start your business. These are agricultural technical skills on how to use farm implements, disease identification, management and prevention and also information on farm chemical use. For example if you are doing dairy farming you need to go for training to get practical and theoretical knowledge on how to take care of your herd. The same applies to crop production and other animal husbandry ventures.
Marketing comes is a requirement in every business. Without marketing there is no business. In farming the rule of thumb is that by the time your produce matures you should have a ready market. You have to source market early before the venture. Most agricultural produce are marketable on their own because they are among the basic human needs. However this does not necessarily mean that marketing is not important in farming. For that matter, this assumption often leads to post-harvest loss due to lack of market. This often arises when there is a surplus of a specific commodity in your region and more marketing action is needed to sell your farm produce elsewhere.
You cannot improve what you don’t know and record keeping plays a critical role in farming. Every farmer needs to have a record keeping system in place as they engage in agribusiness. All records should be up to date and this will aid in tracking your progress. This will also enable you to have a systematic flow of inputs and outputs on your venture. It will also control financial issues that arise on the farm by showing the flow of money within the agribusiness enterprise i.e. where the money has come from and where it was spent (Income and Expenses). Due to changes in technology, softwares that help you to manage your farm records and keep your finances in order include Financial Management Softwares, Dairy Management Softwares and Crop Production Softwares.
In conclusion farming is not a walk in the park, it’s not always roses, some suffer huge losses, and disasters do occur, capital is lost. Farming isn’t for everyone but if you have the passion and willing to work hard, search knowledge and invest in technology and key human resources you will be successful and reap huge profits.