Home News Why African agreprenuers fail in farming Ventures

Why African agreprenuers fail in farming Ventures


By Farmers Support Initiative


In recent time I know we’ve all severally thought of numerous business opportunities that farming presents?

It’s certainly mindblowing but let’s leave that direction and look at the reasons many farming businesses fail, especially in Africa

Farming is fast becoming the world most important industry largely due to growing need to feed a vast population of people spread across the globe, billions of people and still counting. Even though people keep flooding the farming industry, it’s common knowledge today that you too can become successful by penetrating with a unique selling point and good information.

But then, many out there will ask why is it that African farmers work so hard, yet they appear to be the poorest citizens among their fellow countrymen and women?

It’s this anormally that brought about this probing for answers.


1. Lack of Knowledge

2. Bad Location

3. Improper Planning

4. Poor Customer Relationship

5. Premature Scaling

6. Lack of Core Values

7. Wrong Partner/Team

8. Use of Business Funds for Personal Gains

9. Selling on Credit

10. Poor Farm Management related

1. Lack of Knowledge:

This is, in fact, one of the major reasons many agribusinesses fail. A lot of people think venturing into agribusinesses do not require much training. Some crop farmers think agriculture is all about making ridges, planting seeds and then wait until harvest to start raking millions into their bank. At this, I laugh out loud.

Most livestock farmers, on the other hand, are not any different from the crop farmers above. They think livestock farming is all about getting young animals and feeding them until maturity so that they can sell them out to start making money too. A lot of poultry farmers think this way yet they don’t know the fundamentals of keeping poultry commercially.

Their focus is usually on the profit, instead of taking out time to learn about their business before venturing into it. Never presume you know it all. Learn from experts before venturing. Don’t go online to collect vague figures that may mislead you. If you need figures, then get from professionals in that field who are practicing.

Acquiring the right knowledge helps you know the necessary inputs you need to be successful in your agribusiness. Sometimes, this may come at a cost to you. If you can afford to pay a professional farmer for an opportunity to learn on his farm, that will be wonderful.

You may also want to apply for an internship. I bet you will learn more while interning, but you will be willing to make sacrifices if necessary – especially if you’re not being paid while interning.

It all depends on your agreement with the management anyway. The knowledge is all that matters to you. Just get it.

2. Bad Location:

Site selection is an important factor to consider before starting your agribusiness. The things to consider while making the decision for choosing an appropriate location include; proximity to water sources, proximity to markets, access roads to the farm, soil fertility, pH levels, etc.

For example Snail farming requires some special sites, the same thing goes for fish farming. Location matters a lot to agribusinesses and failure to select a good site is the first step to failing in agriculture.

3. Improper Planning

Before starting any agribusiness, you must sit down and calculate the costs involved. Many agribusinesses fail at startup because the owners did not plan properly before starting out. Planning is all about deciding in advance what to do, how to do it and when to do it so that maximum efficiency can be attained.

Items involved in the planning are; financial breakdown of inputs, expansion plan, sources of fund, transportation, marketing strategy, management board etc. in addition, supply chain and distribution channels must also be planned.

Almost everything in agribusiness is planned. Farmers plan when to by their inputs so that they can harvest at a favorable time of the year when they can sell at high prices. They make a lot of profit from selling in peak periods or festive periods because demand is high at those times.

4. Poor Customer Relationship

The customer is king, anytime, any day. Never forget that. You will continue to lose more customers if you do not maintain a good relationship with them. Not only that, but you will also miss business opportunities that should come to you through referrals.

Always do all you can to ensure that your customers are happy with you and your products. Although, that does not mean you should burn out or suffer a loss just to please them. Some customers are just not fit to be in your circle. Those are bad eggs that must be laid off without apologies.

Good customers will continue to encourage and give you all the support you need to scale up your business.

*- to be continued*


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