Friday, 27 April 2012

Steps of starting a farm business

When starting a farm business you need to make up your mind where to begin! Starting a business can be overwhelming as it involves several steps. Start by evaluating the Business Idea using market research. You may think your business idea is genius just because there’s nothing like it in the market , but on the contrary it may be a warning sign that there simply no market for the idea. Before rushing into starting your farm business, you should ensure there are enough customers whom you are targeting will buy your farm products or services. The more you know about your consumers, the better the chances of success of your marketing efforts. This exercise is called market research. 

There are several ideas to help you in the above research. You can hire market research companies or do simple research using the following considerations? Who are your target customers are, their numbers, where they live, their ages, how much money they spend on comparable services / products per week, whom you are competing with, What will make your farm business unique? Make a business plan in order to know how much sales you require to break even and make a profit. The market research will help you determine whether your idea is practical and worthwhile pursuing or not.

A partnership farm business requires a wise choice of co-founders whom you can work well with, whose skills complement yours. Choosing business partners who have a variety of skills is the key to success of a starting a business. This means if you are good at customer service but disorganized when it comes to administration, get a person who is organized with great attention to details for administrative work, while you deal with customer service. Choosing farm Business Structure is the next step. Once your idea is past the market research step, and you’ve decided whether to have co-founders or not, decide on the type of business structure best for your company. If ideally research shows that there is  no need for retail establishment, and you decide execution of your idea is to start from  a home office, you may be able to operate  a sole proprietorship.In this case Choose a private company business structure. However if you have co-founders, consider other forms of Farm business structures, such as partnerships,  a Corporation or a Limited Liability Corporation.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Africa Environment Day is Renamed Wangari Maathai Day

Africa Environment  Day is celebrated every of 3rd March since the year 2000.The day was set aside to raise awareness of the pressing environmental challenges facing the continent. During the African Union Summit held in Addis Ababa Ethiopia in February 2012, the African Union chose to honour the late professor wangari maathai by renaming Africa Environment Day Wangari Maathai Day, for her great contribution to environmental awareness in Africa especially in aforestation and reforestation.Great contribution was made by the late professor Wangari Maathai. Professor Wangari Mathai fought several battles with wisdom and diplomacy to save the environment. This made her a winner of the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize which was awarded her in Oslo Norway in Dec 2004.She has left a legacy which will outlive her and the battle continuous.

Agroforestry, farm forestry, community forestry, social forestry and village forestry are all terms used to describe growing of trees undertaken mainly outside gazetted forest zones. Agro-forestry has received much attention in the development efforts of rural Kenya over the years. Tree planting projects have been supported by government extension services as well as well as non governmental organizations. Increasing the tree cover from about 2% to 10% is the government policy in Kenya. However lack of seeds has often led to poor achievements in tree planting as the supply from central seeds stores is unreliable. Local seed collection is the answer to ensuring timely supplies of seeds, furthermore indigenous tree are adapted local area conditions. It is very easy to collect seed for on farm small nurseries. Simply observe the flowering and fruiting of various tree species to know when mature seeds are available. This varies from species to species and from one part of Kenya to the other.

Collect only mature seeds for good germination percentage and from trees that resemble what you want i.e. species for timber from straight trees, species for fodder from trees with high production of leafy biomass and species for fruit from good tasting and high yielding trees. Collect seed which has not been attacked by insect or fungi.Extract collected seeds from pods, cones or fruit and allow drying. Seeds which are oily or soft are recommended to be sown immediately and should not be stored ,while those with a hard cover may usually be stored. When storing keep the seed clean, cool, dry and protected from insects and rats. Label containers with name of the species and Date of collection. As Professor wangari maathai said “It’s the little things that citizens do which makes the difference and she quote “My little thing is planting trees” That one “little” thing led Wangari Maathai, who 
died September 25th 2011, to found a movement by name the green belt movement, that not only planted over 47 million trees worldwide, including re-foresting her native country Kenya, but had improved the lives of over 900,000 women through economic empowerment by the year 2011.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Peanut butter for income generation and Nutrition

Peanut butter is a perfect spread for sandwiches which is made from roasted salted or sweetened peanuts. It is popular among adults and children alike in addition to being rich in nutrients, providing over 30 vital nutrients and phytochemicals. The nutrients include niacin, fiber, magnesium, manganese folate, phosphorus and vitamin E. They also contain about 25% protein, and exceeds proportion in any other true nut. They have been used to help fight malnutrition by famine relief organizations like the World Health Organization, UNICEF. Doctors without Borders have also promoted the use of these products to help save malnourished children in developing countries. A research that was carried out in the United States revealed that 1-2% of the population had allergic reactions the products   exposure with symptoms ranging from watery eyes to anaphylactic shock, for which treatment should be sought without delay. Use high quality and avoid moldy peanuts as they produce a carcinogenic substance called aflatoxin.

 Ingredients to make peanut butter include:-

1kg shelled and roasted peanuts

½ cup sugar

1 ½ tablespoon salt

1 cup cooking oil

The procedure of making the peanut butter is as follows:-

Remove the red or pink skin in preparation for making the peanut butter.

Mix all the ingredients and grind using an electric blender or a grinding stone.

Blend the mixture to a paste consistency

Pack and sell for income generation and self employment