Carole is an upcoming writer with a wide teaching experience. She is a farm enthusiast as well.
Viability of Agribusiness in Society
Agribusiness is the engaging in farming with the sole purpose of earning good returns. This is to say that Agriculture is practiced from a practical perspective with a clear end goal. Agribusiness is a thriving venture whose benefits stand out. As long as one is ready to roll up their sleeves, work hard, work smart and be very patient; the rewards from Agribusiness are real. One needs to be good at planning, organizing and record keeping.
1.Agribusiness seeks to solve the problem of lack/unemployment _ fresh graduates have realized that getting white collar jobs has become more and more difficult. Rather than keep on hoping and waiting, they have decided to embrace agribusiness either on land owned by their parents or on leased land. Many are the breakthrough success stories for those who have chosen this path. As for me, I decided to keep myself busy with farming on my parents' land soon after completing high school (gap year) as I waited to join college. I grew tomatoes and zucchini that yielded a bumper harvest. I earned a tidy sum from the sale of my harvest.I was clearly excited. Throughout college, whenever we were on long holidays, I would grow a crop that would mature in three to six months. Most of those college years I grew carrots as they were easy to maintain and did not take a long time to grow. I have continued farming to date. Most fresh graduates and school leavers nowadays opt to do Agribusiness. By being persistent and working hard and smart,they now earn a meaningful income.
2. Agribusiness ensures bumper harvests as it moves away from traditional farming patterns_ more people have made a shift from traditional farming practices where same crops are grown year in year out. They are now diversifying and experimenting with new crops in regions where they have never been grown before. Take the case of a few farmers in Nyanza province (Kenya) who decided to go out of their way to grow melons in an area chiefly known for cassava and sweet potatoes. The outcome of this was a bumper harvest that translated to huge profits.This boosted their confidence and they now encourage (mentor) their neighbors to experiment with new crops.
3. Agribusiness encourages the use of different approaches to farming_ as agribusiness takes shape in society, some farmers are choosing not to grow a variety of crops on their pieces of land. Instead, they are concentrating on one crop that they have identified, researched and tested. They focus on this one crop after having identified their market such that as soon as they harvest, they transport their produce and get paid promptly.An example is farmer X from western Kenya who chose to grow only groundnuts in an area commonly known for cassava, sorghum, sugarcane, maize and cow peas. She had thoroughly done her research and discovered that people in that region grew groundnuts on a very small scale. So she identified her niche market in Nairobi, negotiated the price per bag and embarked on planting them on a large scale. She earned a tidy sum from her first harvest and was motivated to expand her groundnut farm from one acre to five acres.
4. Agribusiness encourages the use of technology (digital farming)_ technology has played a crucial role in getting farmers to take agribusiness seriously. Many farmers have suffered in the hands of middlemen for the longest time; earning peanuts while the middlemen reap where they did not sow. Farmers embracing technology are now able to use the many applications that have been developed to directly market their produce, thus cutting out middlemen. This results in a satisfied farmer whose efforts are well compensated.
The apps used are either crop specific or animal specific. Records of crops that can be tracked by these apps include: planting period, weeding, application of manure/fertilizer, and general care to ward off pests. The animal apps enable farmers to keep records of when animals were purchased/bought,growth rate, weight, health and output (dairy, meat, fleece etc). These apps include iCow, M-Shamba, Mbegu Choice, M-Farm and VetAfrica.
Farmers from all over the world are also able to interact with the Kenyan farmers on social media platforms and share their insights, provide/receive advice and encourage one another. These platforms also provide the real pricing of farming produce and where to market one's goods. Some farming groups on social media include: Farmlink, AgriProFocus, Kenya Small Scale Farmers Forum and several facebook groups.
5. Agribusiness is supported by very many non-governmental organisations (NGOs)_ these organisations are a great boost to farmers and farmers to be. They train farmers on the latest and best farming techniques and practices. They offer regular workshops where they brainstorm issues affecting farmers. Some organisations provide some inputs like seeds and fertilizers. Some even offer incentives to those who follow and implement what they learn in the training seminars. These NGOs include One Acre Fund, World Vision, AgroKenya, World Concern International, AgriProFocus Kenya, Farm Africa, Women in Modern Agriculture and SNV Netherlands.
It is worth trying Agribusiness if you have the passion or some sort of interest. As mentioned above, you do not have to own land. You can use idle land belonging to your parents or close relatives. You could lease land at affordable rates payable annually. You could also use that small space in your plot of land in the urban area (if you already live in your own compound). You can start small and see what works for you and which improvements need to be made regularly.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Carole Mireri
Carole Mireri (author) on November 20, 2019:
Well said, Njoroge. Our fresh graduates need to be sensitized on this.
Njoroge Kang'iri on November 20, 2019:
Agribusiness is the way to go especially for a country like Kenya. With the ever growing technology it can be digitalized to make it easier.
Robert Sacchi on May 17, 2019:
Carole Mireri (author) on May 17, 2019:
Yes indeed, Robert. Thank you for taking your time here.
Robert Sacchi on May 16, 2019:
Time will tell.
Carole Mireri (author) on May 16, 2019:
Well, the most successful ones will either expand their farms or buy their own land if they had leased. They may venture out to other fields like real estate, transport( buying trucks, buses or lorries), hospitality and just about anything. Trust me. Talk about not putting your eggs in one basket!
Robert Sacchi on May 15, 2019:
It is an interesting development to watch. Will the most successful ones expand their farms and become the rich people of the next generation?
Carole Mireri (author) on May 15, 2019:
Yes it is Robert. There are many fresh graduates taking this route.
Robert Sacchi on May 15, 2019:
This is an interesting article about the growing interest in agrobusiness in Kenya.