Do you do serious farming? Not really, it’s part of my hustles. This is a common phrase to hear which leads me to wonder who is a serious farmer.
I talked to an Agronomist the other day and he several times mentioned “NOT SERIOUS FARMERS” and when I asked him to expound more, he did not hesitate to be brutally honest with his definition of the NOT SERIOUS FARMER.
It goes something like this, the NOT SERIOUS FARMER is one who wants the most from the least, is willing to compromise on quality of inputs but still expect quality output and thinks that farming is not a profession. This is quite accurate to some extent and perhaps biased but simply the truth.
The SERIOUS FARMER on the other hand, understands the importance of investing in farming. She/he will not take any short cuts when it comes to farming. A lot of starting farmers and sadly already established farmers fall into these short term, short vision trap. Many a times when purchasing farm materials or farms many bargain or simply ask for the cheaper alternative. Cheap is expensive in the long run.
Another urgent genuine problem is the lack of understanding of value between the farmer and his/her service providers in the agricultural sector. This usually common between agriculture consultants and farmers, whereas a farmer would see value in the physical buy/object he fails to see the intangible value of a consultant. This usually results in farming professionals getting frustrated by low prices and lack of appreciation of their value.
The virtue of patience, focus and commitment is another that separates the wheat from the chaff. If you begin farming early on knowing that it is a get rich quick business, you are wrong, yes you are!!
Farming requires patience as you learn and make each experience a learning experience that is transferred to your harvest quality. Many who take up farming as a side hustle usually end up saying it is not profitable or rather it is time wasting. For those who take their time and put their commitment into farming the rewards are good in the long run, they usually start at a practical level with long term goals and hire professionals to help them in their operations.
Whenever I think of a serious farmer I think of an Agri-entrepreneur and in business the graveyard is rarely talked about but it is big, many failed/failing farmers falling under the category of NOT SERIOUS and those who are SERIOUS FARMERS. This may not be the case always but it’s time to think about who a serious farmer is.