Multiple ways to earn from agriculture; entrepreneur’s experience

Chris Rutinduka is the brains behind ‘Green Plant Company’, a local firm that works in the agriculture sector (growing crops and rearing animals).

His interest in farming developed at a young age, starting with chicken rearing and selling which was often the source of revenue to buy school supplies such as shoes and clothes while in Primary School.

 

This gave him somewhat confidence on the opportunities in the sector.

 

On completing studies, he found it hard to get a job, like most graduates.

 

Since he had always been keen on farming in 2017, he ventured into poultry farming and proceeds were invested in growing crops like maize and beans. With time, he also expanded to vegetable growing.

He has been able to offer employment to 12 farmers. His farms are located in Ku Murindi, Nyagasambu, and Nyagatare and Bugesera.

Although he has gained usual customers, increased his savings, expanded his business, Rutinduka said he hasn’t fulfilled his dream of exporting his produce. But he is still hopeful.

Rutinduka says that as one who has seen the outcomes of the agriculture sector, given a chance to start over, he would still choose farming without hesitating.

 He highlights some of the tips to earn from the farming business.

The agri-prenuer explains that it is necessary to understand the farming finances first, for example, plan how much it will cost you to start a successful farm, you can take advantage of low-cost loans that you can pay back in a few months.

“This means, there will be no worry of lacking capital because if the business catches up fast, you are assured of returns,” he said.

He adds that this can be made possible if a farmer works tirelessly to meet the needs and demands of the public.

“Farmers must plant a variety of crops to reduce some risks that could arise when one or two crops don’t earn as expected, at least another crop might sell out more,” he states.

Rutinduka advised on using every resource available to make money on the farm.  “For instance, through creating multiple incomes, if possible, for example, if rearing chicken, sell the chicken, eggs, and chicks, don’t be limited to only selling the products. This is a very profitable business if managed well,” he said.

The agri-prenuer said that skilled farmers can decide to conduct farming lessons to other farmers, and earn money from sharing their knowledge.

“You can either start online farming courses or advertise in your community in case some new farmers might be interested in the training,” he adds.

The businessman, however, noted that it is crucial to do some research on the products that are in demand on the market.  For example, fruits and vegetable farming can earn you more returns on investment because people demand them more often, across all seasons.

“Dairy farming is also profitable as there is a high demand for milk and dairy products. Alternatively, crops considered to have medicinal value have a higher return on investment,” said the farmer.

 He stressed that one ought to find a sustainable market.

Before venturing into farming, he said, one has to be sure about what agriculture business they are looking for, as it might depend on factors, such as the location, weather conditions, land, analysis, kind of crops targeted, investments for starting, among others.

Rutinduka pointed out that one can do research about the crops and their seasonal progress, market demand, available resources, targeted area or customers. A market survey, he said would help one make choices on the commodities demanded in the nearby market.

He further advised on the need for ideal packaging of products as well as developing customer base through organizing visits.

Rutinduka added that one can also sell manure. 

“If you are into livestock farming, pile up the manure, use it as fertilizer for your garden and also sell it to local organic farmers. Use every part of the animal for money, for example, if you slaughter animals for meat, you can sell the hides for leather, or chicken feathers, used in making crafts and decorations,” he said.

One can also sell pasture to different animal farmers, he added.

He stressed that as a farmer, one should also consider writing articles online about your daily activities, or topics that would enable other farmers learn more about proper farming methods which are also an avenue of marketing.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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