The problem with starting agri-business in the rural areas is our lack of assets. This assets we are referring to is the land. Land plays an big role in agricultural venture, because our plants need soil to grow. Buying land might be difficult to achieve, as price of land continue to become high, which we dont see to even drop due to the laws of supply and demand. Population increases, but not the land area.
For those that can afford, buying land is the answer to a need for bigger farm area to plant high value crops, or to raise farm animals. On the other hand, attaining a higher income with agri-business using the same land is not far from possible. The land can be the same, but applying the right technique and technology can increase the output from the farm.
One of such possibility is the use of Simple agro-livestock technology or SALT 2. This technique is a half-hectare model of goat farm integrated agro-forestry with a land use of 40% to agriculture, 40% to livestock and 20% to forestry. The technique is not restricted to goats, as other livestock that can be raised are cattle, and sheep. Goats has advantage and is preferred. Goats are considered as poor man’s cow. The high productivity of these animals is due to high fertility and short intervals of kidding. Considering the live weight is small, they are highly resistant to pests and diseases and are relatively inexpensive to stock. The manure will provide a good source of fertiliser.
Simple agro-livestock technology involves the planting of food and cash crops in slopping land. Cash crops are high value crops and easy to grow. Food crops include any vegetable or root crop which can be arranged as long term and short term. Plants have time span of productivity and growth, which makes upper part of the slop ideal for short term crops. Lower the slop are the long term crops.
Situating the goat farm in the middle is best setting. The manure can be easily distributed up or down the farm. Goats need forage grown since this type of goat raising involves cut-and -carry method. Roaming animals are held in confines of roofed shelters. Their forage is supplied via maintained forage garden. Having this setup has the requisite of establishing the forage garden six to eight months before bringing in the goats. Grow only palatable, high in protein, fast-growing and high-yielding forage. An example list of forage crops is as follows: 50% Desmodium rensonii, 25% Flemingia congesta, 20% Glincidia sepium and 5% Napier.
This way, the land is maximized to its full potential and productivity. This is also a way to maximize the agriculural capability of slopping lands. Limited land turned into profitable farm is the best way of getting income from our farm. Sustainable farming must be done to increase our income, and minimize loss.