What Is Your Plan

10

January is always that month of the year when people come up with goals and for this goal to achieve reality it must be have time specific, relevant and they must be yard stick of measurement. As a player in the agricultural sector do you have a goal, and is it measurable, is doable and is time specific? Do you know as farmer you could plan what you plant into this time measurement. Short term crops Medium term crops Long term crops For short term crops, one can decide to do crops(fruits and veggies) that take from 1month to 3months to harvest, crops that fall under this range are fruits and vegetables( tomatoes, pepper, Cucumber, spinach and watermelon etc). As a farmer understand how to make real money with these crops, in other words understand the business of this crops. For example, seasonality : Hunger is not seasonal so why should we in these age and time have crops in season? In Nigeria tomato is very expensive from May to July, can you take advantage of that season? With the price of tomatoes hitting the roof during that period? Supply so limited and demand escalating : do you have what it takes to produce tomatoes ready for the market during that period ? it’s not only tomatoes that have this market challenge, Other crops that have similar issues are beetroot, eggplant, garden egg, carrots and ugu(fluted pumpkin and a lot of other vegetables are seasonal. We should have these crops all year. The world has gone past the time of waiting for the rain to grow crops. So if you need to take advantage of this opportunity, may be you need to invest in knowledge. (soilless farming, irrigation farming and green house farming) and later you invest in infrastructure. Another opportunity in short term farming is they growing demand for exotic vegetables and fruit in the country because of the increase in awareness of healthy lifestyle. Explore this space and take advantage. One can apply the “farm to table model” here. Medium term crops These are crops that take from six months to one year or more to harvest.( Cassava, Ginger, plantain etc. ) A combination of both the short term crops with the medium term would not be a bad idea depending on your capabilities. Long term crops Do we plan for retirement or does retirement come knocking? This is one strategy to use in planning for retirement depending on your age. Long term crops are crop that take from three years or more to reach harvest. These is not your regular crops that falls under short or medium term plan. This takes time, skills needed for management, perseverance and capital. Crops like palm tree, cashew tree, Apple( maturity faster and can grow almost everywhere in Nigeria) coconut, cocoa etc. However the are hybrid which has shorter maturity period, so this cuts of your waiting period. One can intercrop short term crop or medium term crops together with long term crop or have them side by side to avail resources for the long term cropping . The good thing about long term crop is that it is going to last for the next 40 years or more , depending on variety and the environment. Everyone is not meant to farm but we all need to have goals and segment them into time frame. What is your goal ? (Extract from my upcoming book)

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