#1: Start Small
Test your skills in a small area, backyard will be a good start. Learn the fundamentals: Soil preparation, Composting, watering schedule, weed management and organically dealing with pests.
Do this for at least an year or two to understand the seasons and its effects on crops. And of-course be sure to try out the crops you intend to grow large scale.
#2: Do you already own the land?
If you do, that would be the best starting point. With the current land prices, it’s tough to find good agriculture land that would make financial sense to buy and start farming. Good alternative is to try poly house or mushroom farming in a controlled environment, which doesn’t require a lot of space.
If you really want a lot of land for the crop you have in mind, leasing is another option.
#3: How much time can you spend in the farm?
More the merrier, keep in mind as with any new venture you will need to invest a ton of time at-least in the earlier stages to get it going. Your successful switch will really depend on how often you frequent the farm and get involved in all stages of crop lifecycle.
Don’t expect to have someone run your farm to see the results you intended.
#4: Get Your Family Involved
Get your family involved in the early stages, having their approval and help will make the switch a lot smoother. If you have kids, get them involved as well they would love to get dirty while learning something new.
#5: Crop Selection
Start by looking around your farm and see what everyone else is growing and how well they are growing, it’s already proven, you don’t need to re-invent. And gradually you can look into improving it or decide on changing to the crop you have in mind. You will also need to consider the water availability in your land before selecting the crop.
#6: Labour Availability
Your crop selection and even the decision about if you can farm will totally depend on this. If it’s a challenge to get enough man power in your area, you would need to stick with crops that are not labour intensive.
Most vegetables need to be picked couple of times a week when it’s time to harvest and are time sensitive, but things like coconut trees can go without being harvested for a few days.
#7: Sell Direct
Skip the middle man, find your customers and spend a lot of time studying the market and decide on what you want to grow. Have a strong marketing plan and a backup plan, as with most farm goods they all ripe or need to get harvested at the same time and you need to sell them quick.
#8: Do The Math
Considering the above factors and the market for what you intend to grow, get an estimate on what you will make and decide if that is good for you. This will help you set the expectations right and will play a major role in the making the switch a success.
#9: Don’t Worry About What Others Think
When you talk to someone who has been into Agriculture for a while about your plan on switching to Agriculture, most likely they won’t recommend you leave your desk job to take up agriculture full-time. Even worse, they would laugh it off as a joke :).
Use that to your motivation, you are not looking into farming to impress someone, you are doing what you love.
#10: Save enough before making the switch
This is probably the most important of all, Save enough so you can get through a couple of bad years if you have to. Remember many get into this profession for the love of it and you cannot become rich overnight being a farmer, slow and organic growth might get your there someday.
Have a backup plan in place, if the switch didn’t work out for you. As they say “Plan for the worst and hope for the best”
Questions or Comments? let us know below. Thanks for reading!