Growing up, I never dreamt of becoming a farmer. I ventured into it by accident when I had to quit a job that wasn’t paying me much. I took the opportunity to visit my grandma in the village. My grandma had a big compound with a big space behind the house.
I had a friend who owned a vegetable farm close to my grandma’s house. He had nursed pepper seeds and had started transplanting. I visited his farm, helped him to transplant his seedlings. He gave me a few seedlings to thank me for helping.
Initially, I didn’t know what to do with the seedlings; so, I left the seedlings in the corner of my room and went to bed. The next day I asked one of my cousins to help me clear a portion at my grandma’s backyard. After the clearing, I proceeded to transplant the seedlings the same way he showed me when I visited his farm
After a few days, I lost half of my seedlings to diseases and insects. I felt a little sad because I had put in a lot of efforts in transplanting and caring for the seedlings. I visited my friend again and asked him for tips on how to care for the rest of the plants. He prescribed insecticide and pesticide for me to buy to help me curb the spread of the diseases.
In no time, my plants started developing beautiful flowers. The flowers turned into fruits, sweet green pepper! I was so happy walking through my little garden picking pepper off the stalk. I sold the fruits in the local market and gave some out to friends and loved ones.
It wasn’t an easy decision to stay back in the village but it was worth it. I would not say it has been a total success so far because I have encountered giant challenges that made me cry all through the night. There was this time I lost all my seedlings because I applied the wrong fertilizer to my seedlings.
I cried but I got over it eventually and started afresh after grieving my loss. I have also chalked a few successes too; there was another time I made so much money from the sale of fresh corn. That day was one of the best days of my life!
I guess what I am trying to say is that if you are thinking of venturing into farming, here are a few tips based on my personal observation and experience.
Spend time researching on agricultural methods, practices, seeds and everything agriculture before you venture into farming.
Befriend experts who are already in the field such as farmers, extension officers, agrochemical companies and companies who deal in seeds.
You should have also saved enough money to sustain you for at least one year in case the venture does not go well because you have a 50 per cent chance of failing or succeeding.
If you have a well-paying job please do not quit it to start a farm. If you can, test the waters by making it a side hustle to see the success rate of your crops.
Google everything you don’t understand; design a solid business plan before you start.
Remember, farming is not a hobby but a passion! You have to give it your best shot.