Just as I’ve written in one of my articles on expenses you should be wary of when doing your books, I’ve seen farmers complain about the reason they are not making a profit on their farms.
This is a result of various factors that have contributed to this reason which I will be discussing in this article.
Whether you are a new farmer or a seasoned farmer, there are some things you need to be wary of before jumping and selling your seeds.
If you want to know why you are not making profit on your farm, then read on
Why You Are Not Making Profit On Your Farm
Lack of Patience
The first reason why you might not be making a profit on your farm is the lack of patience.
A lot of people rush and believe everything they see online without diving deep into the real information. The internet is a free information center, but what you see is a quarter of reality.
People only talk about the sweet part of the business, they don’t bother to look into the bitter aspect of the business.
Let me share a story of a client I worked for, she started a fish farm for the first time and we’re not halfway into the production cycle, they’re already talking about how much profit they’ll make.
Hmm, I laughed and explained agriculture business is not a get-rich-quick scheme, you don’t start a business today and believe you will start making profits immediately.
It takes time before you attain the level of those you see online. What most newbies don’t know is that those they look up to have started the business for a long time (5, 8, or even 10 years) so they’ve made their loss and learned the basics of the business, unlike you who this is just your first production cycle.
If you’re not patient, you’re not fit to start an agribusiness cos you’ll just waste your money and time.
We’re in an industry where prices are not regulated because there are so many individuals in the business who just start this business to survive and not for anything else.
With this, it is very difficult to have a uniform price which is affecting people who are really into the business. Let me make it clearer if I’m selling my fish for $3 after feeding for 6 months, and another person that just wants to sell out quickly decides to cut by price by $0.5 and sell by $2.5, people will rush out to buy the fish from such person.
These people don’t even care if they make profits or not.
When such things happen, I’ll be forced to reduce my price in order to sell my fish faster. I might not reduce the price to $2.5 but I will definitely not sell at $3 if I want to sell and not continue feeding without purpose.
If all this happens, you already know that you’ll not make half of what you’re supposed to make, sometimes you will only break even in that production cycle.
Before deciding on the price you’ll sell your agricultural produce, make sure you do the necessary calculations to see that it will pay you at the end of the day.
If you don’t know which expenses you should deduct from the books, read this article on hidden expenses you should know about on your farm.
Too Much Information
Imagine going to the market to purchase something, before leaving your home you already have an idea of what you want given to you by a professional but you get to the market and you start listening to so much noise in the market, you’ll get confused and you’ll be misled.
The same thing happens when you consume too much information on one decision. When a client reaches out to me about a project he/she wants to do or currently executing, I ask about the person that is previously handling it and what happened to that person.
Bringing different professionals or persons to your farm all in the name of getting it right will only do you more harm than good.
I’m not saying you should not watch other people talk about the business, but I’ll advise you to sieve whatever information you take in and which of the information you’ll apply to your farm.
Don’t be an online student that doesn’t attend class, read textbooks only rely on online information but want to come out with first class.
If you do this, you’ll fail woefully.
No Record Book
I cannot emphasize the importance of record keeping enough in the agribusiness sector if you’re serious about this business and not just doing it for fun sake.
Most farmers don’t record the day-to-day expenses on their farm thereby not giving them the opportunity to track whether or not they made a profit, loss, or break even.
I have a whole article on the importance of record keeping you should read, check it out HERE.
Not Diversifying into other Value Chains
Another reason why you are not making a profit on your farm is sticking to one value chain of the business.
There are different value chains of the agricultural business you can combine at least two of them together at the same time and make money from it. There is no law that says you should do one of these value chains in your line of business.
Let me use catfish farming as an example, there are different ways you can make money from it, from hatching to processing to grow out fish, etc. You can combine two similar or closely related aspects of the business together to make money for yourself.
The last but not least reason why you’re not making a profit on your farm is poor management.
Management involves both personnel and livestock management which if you don’t take care of well, you will just be working for your workers.
I’ve seen a lot of farmers that treat their workers like shit (like they are not human), they’re in charge of your business and if you don’t treat them well they can decide to run your business dry.
Likewise, if you don’t feed your livestock well and use feeds rich in protein that will aid better growth, you will not make money cos customers will be pricing your produce badly.
I’ve seen people online feed their catfish bread, eba (it’s a local food), and all sort all in the name of reducing the cost of feeding.
I tell people, it is what you take in that you will give out.
The Way Forward
If you want to defeat so much negativity going on in the business, you have to follow someone that knows the way, what I mean by that is let your consultant be someone that has been in the business, failed, and also learned from his/her failures.
Don’t do business with emotions, do business with sincerity and a pure mind. Reach out to consultants that will lead you through the right way and are ready to be plain with you.
Seek more knowledge but don’t apply everything you see online to your farm cos every farm has its own challenges that people won’t tell you.
I’ve mentioned in the articles some of the many reasons why you might not make a profit on your farm no matter how hard you try. There is no fluke to these things, you have to follow procedure when doing business.
Farming is just like every other business (oil and gas, financial, and so on), you cannot cheat the system and go like that. Don’t let anyone deceive you to think otherwise.
To recap, below are the reasons why you might not be making money from your farming business:
- Lack of patience
- Irregular pricing
- Too much information
- No record book
- Not diversifying
- Poor management
If you find value in this article, do well to share it with your farmer’s colleague or anyone interested in starting an agricultural business.