agriculture is changing and evolving. Agriculture cannot be seen as a hobby or
rural development initiative only but as a business which require high-tech
management. Even, agropreneurs need to possess some qualities to succeed in agribusiness. Many
agribusinesses have been short-lived because the owners failed to get some
things right. They were just captivated by ROI and developed passion
immediately. They put their hard-earned or loaned money into agribusiness and
waiting patiently for bountiful return, unfortunately, the business could not
survive and return becomes an illusion. Although, passion is very important
requisite in any agribusiness but, it is not enough to guarantee long term success.
The following experiential tips are very germane to see through an agribusiness
to the success destination;
and Learning: It is good
to acquire necessary knowledge and practical skills in any agribusiness you
want to venture in from experienced source. Many entrepreneurs don’t even want
to learn the nitty-gritty of business they want to invest in, they just want to
start making money. The truth is, if you don’t learn, you cannot become leader
in your business. An agribusiness owner that wants to improve its operation and
profit need to learn new and pertinent technology. You also need to research on
what’s working and not working. Attend seminars, exhibitions and conferences.
Buy only agribusiness books related to your field, from trusted source, designed
for your climate and with practical information. Everyone directly or indirectly involved in
agribusiness needs training and learning for optimum performance.
for the product: Marketing
is an important aspect that an agropreneur need to consider before operating an
agribusiness. It also entails understanding consumer needs and wants. This
activity need to come first in any agribusiness venture. Market analysis is the
basis of business planning. Some people rush into business without adequate
market analysis for their product or service. You can write your business plan
yourself or give it to a business development personnel that understands, practises or has great
knowledge in agribusiness. However,
proper marketing plan should include;
Fit: There is need to fashion out the right product for
the right market. Most of agricultural products come in breeds or varieties.
Some markets accept particular varieties or breeds while some don’t bother.
Some require processed or value added products while some require fresh
sell the Product:
Understanding the marketplace is fundamental to marketing success. Before you
launch your product, it is very important to know where to sell your product.
Place also signifies the road/channel through which the products will be
conveyed to the customers and the transport facilities available. Some products
can tolerate long distance while some cannot. Many agricultural product
especially vegetables are lost in transit or shelf life becomes reduced during
transport. Some agribusinesses like greenhouse farming don’t need rural areas
or distant farmlands before you can start while some requires distant virgin
farmland. Knowing when to supply your produce will help you to properly plan
your production. It is left to an agropreneur to decide whether, he will pass
through middlemen or cut them off during product supply although it’s difficult
to avoid middlemen in market places.
to sell in the Market: Price is everything a buyer gives up (money, time,
energy, etc) in exchange for a product. Setting price for a product depends on
how much buyers are willing to pay. There is a lot of variation in price of
agricultural product due to seasonality of farm produces. The price of farm
produces is usually high during scarcity. It is important to understand market
trend in order to set good price for your product.
Input analysis: You need
to analyse cost based on current market information and situation that best fit
production area. Some people don’t analyse cost based on requirement of
production area but they find out that their guess is unable to take them
through the production cycle. When planning cost, it is important to plan for
contingency that may ensue along the way. Some agribusinesses get stuck because
of insufficient fund to procure inputs. It is essential to get the right inputs
for the right investment climate. Agricultural inputs include seeds,
fertilizers, farm implements & equipment, Irrigation kit, Agro-chemicals,
Greenhouse materials, etc. When you use the right agricultural input in correct
climatic conditions, you produce the best yield/output. Remember to get
agronomic training and/or technical support from input supplier.
Product: It entails communicating your
product to customers using various promotion strategies. Promotion also entails
advertising, packaging and branding. Many sellers are using health benefit to
promote their product. Value addition is also very important in agricultural
production. Using polyethylene to package vegetable product gives it additional
value. Currently, young agropreneurs are using social media such as Facebook,
Twitter, Forum sites, etc. to promote their products.
Investment/Production Climate: Knowing
climatic condition of agricultural product and production area are very
important. This concept also entails understanding security condition and
peculiar environmental hazards in the production area. In most crop and animal
production, important climatic factors to consider are temperature, soil &
topography, sunshine, wind, rainfall or water bodies or available water. Careful
analyses of those factors are important to the success of crop or animal
production. A good investment climate makes agribusiness to thrive. Each
particular crop or animal has its own climatic requirement. It is good to visit
production area and analyze all climatic factors peculiar to that area and
juxtaposed them with what it’s to be produced.
Workforce: Agribusiness is not a business
you can do alone; you need the right people to work with. The workforce may
include, Technical personnel, Farm Supervisor, Farm Manager, Permanent workers,
Casual labourers, etc. Proper personnel/labour analysis need to be done to
ensure work is carried out appropriately and efficiently. Get required number
of workers for a particular task. Maximize your personnel, pay them reasonably
well and never mistreat them. Always motivate your personnel towards better
is a multifaceted function in agribusiness. Every aspect of agribusiness need
good management practices. Many agribusinesses failed not because of lack of
fund or right workforce but lack of good management practice that cut across
all levels. Management also entails proper monitoring, maintenance function,
resource use efficiency and cash flow management. There is need for proper
management of production, resources (inputs), workforce and risk. As customers
are important to continuity of agribusiness, so also is workforce hence the
need to take proper care of them.
6. Three Ps
of Agribusiness: The three
Ps of Agribusiness include Patience, Persistence and Perpetuity: These are very
crucial qualities on the part of agribusiness owner especially when the
business is just starting or growing. Inadequate patience, persistence and
perpetuity have pushed some people out of business. It usually takes some time
to breakeven in Agribusiness. Therefore, any agropreneur that want to venture
into agribusiness must exhibit the three Ps of Agribusiness.