Saturday, December 10, 2011

20 Ways to Make $25,000 per month running an Agricultural Business

fish on a stall in Uganda
Josephine Kiiza, director of St Jude Family Projects at Busense, Kabonera subcounty in Masaka, is of the most successful farmers in Uganda.

At St. Jude family agricultural projects, they practice and train farmers in modern Integrated Organic Farming, a technology where various items on the farm - plants, animals, water and soils, are in such a way contributes directly or indirectly to the other.

A newvision article published in october 2005, mentions that Josephine Kiiza earns Uganda shillings 50 million ($25,000) per month from her 3.7 acre farm. She farm has She probably earns more money now.

Using the St. Jude family projects, as our case study, we are going to try answering the question below.

As a young farmer, how can you earn 50 million ($25,000) or better still earn more money from your agricultural business?

Activities at St. Jude family projects in Masaka, with which they are earning a living:
  1. Rearing exotic cattle - keep just the right number of breeds for mostly producing milk. Do not keep 1000 herds of cattle when your land can only support 6, just because you have them. Chicken droppings when treated, are also used to feed cattle. Acquire breeds that produce alot of milk, disease resistant, grow fast to weigh alot.

  2. Crops - “The crops depend on the animals and the animals depend on the crops" says Josephine Kiiza. Crops such as maize bran, cotton seed cake, soya are good fodder for animals after the fruit has been harvested.

  3. Training - naturally, if your agricultural business is doing very well, so many people are going to be interested in learning how you are doing it, at a fee. So perfect the art of earning money from your agricultural business and training offers will flow in. as many people as you possibly can. Do not discriminate who can receive your knowledge and expertise. Share your success stories with whoever wants to know. Because you are willing to help other people succeed, more people will also want to help you succeed.

  4. Solar fruit drying - you dry fruits such as jackfruit, sweet bananas, pineapples, tomatoes, mangoes, gonja and exporting them to markets such as Europe at more than $25 per kilo. Also setting up a cereal bank for surplus food crops that can be used up during seasons of scarcity is a good idea. Check out our resources page for a solar fruit drying manual.

  5. Bee keeping - St. Jude family projects has over 20 beehives from which they harvest honey for export at about shs.9,000 ($5.5) per kilo. You also get Bee propolis, bee wax, pollination of crops. If you need a comprehensive manual on bee keeping, check out our resources page.

  6. Fish farming - harvesting fish after 8months, with a piece of fish selling for 10,000/=. Cow dung, maize flour and rotting vegetables are good food for fish in the ponds. Fighting snakes - place boiled eggs along pond's boundaries, which when swallowed by snake cannot be digested hence killing it. Also polythene sheets around the pond which snakes do not like. Scarecrows and placing damaged tape films across the ponds which make a whistling noise as wind blows scares birds away that want to eat the fish. Check out our resources page for a fish fishing manual.

  7. Bio gas generation - Most valuable are the animals and birds droppings and organic crop waste which are used to generate biogas used for cooking, reducing time required to prepare meals. 

  8. Chicken rearing - At St. Jude family projects, they started with 10 local cocks and layers and some exotic species for cross-breeding. Local chicken are disease-resistant, mature and grow fast when well fed.  When they are between six to seven months, they weigh four to five kilogrammes. “We sell them at sh15,000 each,” she says. Check out our resources page for a chicken rearing manual.

  9. Pig rearing - "two types of breeds, large white and land race." They feed twice a day on concentrates of maize bran, cotton seed cake, soya, fishmeal and anthill soil, which is rich in iron. Pigs weigh over 200kg, whose droppings are used to make biogas and composite manure for crops. Pork is often more expensive than beef with asking price for kilo as 9,000/=. Check out our resources page for a pig rearing manual.

  10. Grafting - Nursery of grafted fruit tree cuttings; fast growing fruit trees such as mangoes, oranges, lemons, avocado and passion fruit creepers. So many farmers still do not know how to apply this technique on their farms, providing such seedlings can be a great income source.

  11. Fuel saving stoves and fireplaces - bringing the technology of fuel saving stoves closer to your community at a time when firewood is becoming more scarce and expensive can be very a great income source. Often the stoves are easy to make out of clay using a do-it-yourself method.

  12. Mushroom and Vegetables growing - Mushrooms are a delicacy but they are not easy for young farmers to grow. Check out our resources page for a mushrooms and vegetable growing manuals.

  13. Rainwater harvesting - collecting roof water whenever it rains and keeping it in an underground tank is an often neglected way to have access to water especially in places where water sources are very far off. Having a big water storage tank can quickly become a goldmine during the dry seasons when water becomes extremely scarce and thus more expensive. Check out our resources page for a rainwater harvesting manual.

  14. Making compost manure - livestock and poultry droppings are used both as compost and renewable source of biogas. Organic waste from vegetables or from cooking at home can also be thrown onto the manure heap instead of becoming a hygiene problem as in many communities.

  15. Rearing exotic goats for milk and meat - fast growing and high producing goats are now available. In their prime, milk goats can produce about 4 liters of milk every day. Check out our resources page for a goats rearing manual.

  16. Methods of irrigation (drip irrigation, plant tea irrigation) - most farmers only depend on the rainy season which has become very unpredictable. More than ever, more farmers need to learn and use irrigation as a method of growing food. Africa needs to spend less money on importing food plus feeding our ever growing population. 

  17. Provide accommodation for visitors - if you can, set up structures for housing visitors who come to visit your agricultural projects. This is a generous way to contribute to the sustainability of your farm. When you provide accommodation, make sure the visitors eat food and products produced on the farm such as eggs, chicken, milk, vegetables, bananas...

  18. Share what you are doing and your farming success with the rest of the community any way you can. 

  19. Network with other farmer groups or agricultural institutions - do not stay in one corner with what you are doing, and stop learning. Networking and learning how other farmers and experts are doing, is a good way to know what works and adopting new farming methods that increase production. Check out our resources page for a farmer's communities and publications.

  20. Plant trees - fruit trees, medicine trees for their shade and environmental protection. Neem trees are useful for healing many diseases and repelling mosquitoes. Mangoes and Mutuba tree leaves are good fodder for goats and shade. Trees planted along trenches control soil erosion. They also are used to provide wood for fuel.

  21. Take it a step further, use information communication technologies (ICTs) to improve your agricultural business. Also having the 5 important skill sets for running a successful agricultural business that most farmers are not aware of, would be very good.
As a young farmer, you can do this and earn this much or even more sums of money from practicing agriculture. Do not let anything frustrate your efforts from becoming a successful young farmer.

What? You do not have land??

Yes, you do! 

The land may not be your own. You can take loan of your neighbour's land or use pots. You can farm someone else's land and share with them the proceeds from the farm-land. So many people can accept such a deal instead of having their land grow weeds and bushes whole year round.

As a youth in farming, there are funds from the Ugandan government and other opportunities that are meant to help you you succeed in farming. If you do not ask to use these funds, they will be returned to the government treasury at the end of the budget year leaving you poor as before. 

If you read more about Josephine Kiiza and how they started St. Jude family projects agricultural farm, you will be surprised that they absolutely nothing, just ruins from the 1986 Ugandan war.

What you need to have to earn over $25,000 running an agricultural business is

Interest. Passion. Willing to work hard at it; as Josephine Kiiza mentions in this article.

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