Carole is a farming enthusiast who grew up on a farm. She is also an article writer for hire.
Value addition agriculture involves processing of one's farm products before releasing them for sale. After growing your crops and harvesting them, you can process them before dispatching them to the market. Similarly, products from rearing of animals and birds can be added value before selling them.
As you venture into value added production, bear in mind the end user. Search for a market to sell your finished products.This way, you will cut out middlemen and increase your profit margins.
Value Addition to Animal Products
Practically any type of farming allows for value addition. If you are willing to go the extra mile, you can multiply or triple your income by adding value to your end product.
Dairy farming basically gives the farmer milk. Most farmers send this milk to creameries that pay them at the end of the month. Some farmers sell their milk on a daily basis to middlemen who also go and resell it. As a dairy farmer, you can make more by processing the milk yourself.
You could package the fresh milk in 200 ml, 500 ml, 1 l, 2 l or 5 l packs before sending it to the market. You can also modify fresh milk by flavoring it.There are various flavors you can add. Flavored milk is very popular among children. Flavors include vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, banana, pineapple and orange.
You could also ferment it. Sour milk can also be packaged in varying quantities.It is also referred to as natural unflavored yogurt. It can be consumed alone or as an accompaniment of a meal.
Value can also be increased by turning your milk to powder. Powdered milk is very marketable as it has a long shelf life. Those who lack the time and patience to prepare tea the traditional way, love this product.
Ghee and butter are other products that you can make from your milk. Ghee is made from clarified butter that comes from cow's milk. The butter is heated to separate the liquid fat from the milk solids. It is most common in India where it is used for mostly cooking. It has a distinct smell and a rich, nutty taste. Butter is also made from the cream of milk. It is used as a spread for bread and biscuits. Butter is also commonly used in baking.
You could also turn your milk to yogurt and flavor it accordingly before selling it. To make yogurt, you need to boil your fresh milk, cool it and add a starter culture. Pour in clean jars and let it stand for 7-9 hours. You can add flavors,sweeteners and food color accordingly. Common flavors include vanilla, strawberry, mango, peach, and plain.
You may also want to concentrate on cheese making. We all know how expensive cheese is. If you make cheese the right way, be sure to reap big for your effort. A by product of cheese making called whey can also be sold to augment your income.
Your intention as a bull farmer is to sell bulls at different stages of their development. You can either continue doing this or consider having your own slaughterhouse where bulls are slaughtered and separated into various types of meat. Selling the meat instead of the whole live animal will fetch more cash.
You could consider processing beef sausages and packaging them attractively. Well packaged meat in the form of sirloin (rump), T-bone, Rib eye, strip steaks, filet mignon, porterhouse and mince meat will not only fetch more but also attract clients to regularly buy from you.
The extras such as heads and hooves can be sold to local butchers who use them to make soup. Tripe can also be sold separately to the butchers. The hides can be dried and later sold off to tanneries.
Pork is very popular worldwide. Rather than sell live animals, you could set up a slaughter house and sell your pork directly. You could also package the bacon and ham attractively. Sausages can also be processed and packaged as well.
If you are averse to engaging in all these, you could spend more time looking for your market and then raising your pigs in the best way possible, for this market.
Similar to bulls and pigs, a rabbit farmer can choose to slaughter the rabbits and package the meat. If people know that they can get ready rabbit meat, they will always come for it.
Nothing goes to waste with rabbits: the skin can be sold separately, the droppings and urine can be sold to other farmers as manure and the entire rabbit can be sold off as meat pieces.
Value addition for poultry is in selling birds that have been slaughtered and cleaned. It may seem a lot of work but the returns increase significantly. Nowadays, there are machines that make the slaughtering process shorter, easier and therefore faster. The feathers do not go to waste as they can be sold to those who do stuffing.
Sheep can also be slaughtered just like bulls and the meat separated well and packaged attractively. The heads, hooves and tripe are sold separately. The hides and fleece also have ready market.
Cheese from sheep is another perspective you can take as a value addition. Types of sheep cheese include feta, roquefort, and ricotta. sheep milk can also be used to make some types of yogurt.
Bees are highly valuable. As long as you have strategically placed your hives near trees and other plants, you can be assured of bumper harvests. Instead of selling the honey wholesale in the way you have harvested it, you stand to gain more by taking your time to add value to it.
Invest in attractive and well labeled jars of varying quantities. Package the honey in these jars and see the money rolling in. You will realize that you may not satisfy the demand.
Beeswax can be molded and sold off or it can be used to make candles, soap, lip balm and body cream.
Goats are very profitable as they are able to survive on almost any type of pasture. They do well both when zero-grazed and left free. They provide both milk and meat. Their milk is nutritious, medicinal and expensive. To add more value and fetch more cash, the milk can be packaged in smaller quantities in tetra packs or bottles and clearly labeled.
You can make cheese from goat milk. It has different flavors and textures. Types of goat cheese include white mold and blue cheese
You could also consider slaughtering the goats and selling the meat in smaller chunks. This will leave you with hides that can also be sold separately.
Value Addition to Crop Products
1 . Fruits
Depending on the fruits you are growing, you may consider making jam, jelly, syrup or even fruit juice. When the fruits are in season you could make a lot, package appropriately and sell. Example of value addition to fruits include orange juice, lemonade, maple syrup, and plum jam.
2. Maize/ wheat/ millet/ sorghum
You can add value to these products by having them milled and packaged before selling them. If growing more than one of them, you could have a variety by blending several milled products: those that contain just one item such as maize meal only and a combination of two or more such as millet+sorghum flour. These flours can be made more nutritious by adding other elements such as cassava flour or dried milled fish.
Corn flour and corn starch are other products that can be prepared and packaged. They are valuable and on demand.
3. Irish potatoes/sweet potatoes/cassava/banana
Value can also be added to the above three products after harvesting them. You could consider making chips (crisps) and packaging them attractively. You could also consider drying the harvested products and milling them. The milled flour can be blended with other flours to add flavor. These can be used in porridge or chapati (similar to roti) making.
- Start small, in your house or compound until you master the process and get the right market.
- You could team up with other like minded farmers and pool your resources to buy essential machines. These machines include milk coolers and potato chips line.
- Do not lose heart if you fail at the first attempt. Keep at it and you will be perfect.
- Be patient. It may take a while before you realize any profit.
- Let those close to you be the first to taste and critique your processed products before releasing them to the market.
- Identify one product that you want to add value and work on it to perfection.
- Once you have mastered a value-adding technique, you can make additional cash by offering training to those interested.
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:
I appreciate, Njoroge. With the discovery of aflatoxin in most peanut butter brands, indeed jam will be a welcome replacement.
Njoroge Kang'iri on November 20, 2019:
Fruits. I think Jam processing is a great idea. With decreased use of butter and other fatty spreads Jam may be one of the most popular brands remaining. Keep up the writing spirit madam. It's truly informative.
Carole Mireri (author) on November 06, 2019:
Thanks Trevor. Make sure you catch up on more of my articles.
Trevor on November 06, 2019:
This is an extremely informative article...
I have really enjoyed it.
Eager to read more of your articles