What are Non-farming opportunities?
Conversations about agribusiness have predominantly centered on the farming opportunities that exist in Africa. While the continent has some of the most exciting agribusiness opportunities, non-farming opportunities have flown under the radar of entrepreneurs.
What are non-farming opportunities in Agribusiness? These are businesses that do involve farming but rather involve participation in the agricultural value chain at different stages of production. The agriculture industry cannot function without these businesses.
Why should you consider non-farming opportunities in agribusiness?
Farming is arguably one of the most important activities anywhere on the globe. In fact, we should all be farmers. However, there are other structures that have to be in place to achieve a successful and vibrant agricultural value chain.
These non-farming opportunities apply to people who are not able to deal with the challenges and risks involved in farming. They are also suitable for people who do not own land, or those who do not have the interest or passion to pursue farming.
Top 4 Non-farming Opportunities in agribusiness in Africa
There are many value addition opportunities that you can explore in Africa. Farmers sell their commodities in raw form, leaving a huge market gap for value-added products. While value addition industries are emerging on the continent, there are still massive opportunities to explore. Notable examples of value addition opportunities exist in the dairy industry.
Popular products that are derived from milk include yogurt, butter, powdered milk, sour milk, and ghee. These products are priced higher than raw milk. Other niches with strong value addition opportunities include Irish potatoes, peanuts, and different types of meats.
Transport of farm produce
Farming activities in Africa are mainly concentrated in rural areas. A bulk of the commodities produced on these farms is consumed in major urban hubs of Africa. Small-scale farmers face the challenge of accessing these markets. As a result, they sell their produce to middlemen who have means of transport to major cities and towns.
It is not uncommon to find farmers throwing away their produce or feeding it to livestock due to lack of access to markets. Meanwhile, in urban areas, consumers purchase commodities at very high prices due to shortages in supply. With a means of transport, you can be the connection between rural farmers and urban consumers in Africa.
Tractor cultivation services
Cultivating a farm using a hoe is a very tedious exercise that is very time-consuming. Tractors offer farmers an efficient and fast way to cultivate their land and plant on time. Tractor use for cultivation is on a gradual rise in Africa. There are still many rural areas where access to tractor services is still very low. You can take advantage of this and start offering tractor cultivation services to farmers.
Due to the seasonal nature of Africa’s crop cultivation, tractor cultivation services peak in the runup to the planting season. In most cases, this is twice a year. However, for farmers using irrigation and not rain, they may require tractor cultivation services several times a year.
Selling of farm inputs
Farmers in Africa require farm inputs all year round. There is always a demand for high-quality learning farm inputs that are priced affordably. Agro dealer shops are the retailers that sell farm inputs to farmers. They are mainly located in towns with an agricultural-leaning population.
Selling farm inputs is a very lucrative opportunity that peaks during the planting season when farmers purchase seed and fertilizers for planting. Seed and fertilizers should therefore be your flagship inventory to stock. Other important inputs include pesticides, livestock feeds, livestock medications, and farm tools.
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