The agriculture industry is an industry that has loads of business opportunities for investors and aspiring entrepreneurs. As a matter of fact, any serious minded entrepreneur who is willing to work very hard can easily make his or her first million dollars from farming. The bottom line is that there are markets for agric produce all over the world and it if you have able to create marketing channel for you farm produce, then you will make good money.
One of the farming businesses that has huge profit margin is the cultivation of peanuts or groundnuts as it is popularly called in some climes. Peanut is a legume crop that takes four to five month to get ripe for harvest after planting it; as a matter of fact, the pod ripen at about 120 to 150 days after the seeds are planted in the soil. The crop grows easily in light sandy loam soil.
The fact that peanut is an edible food (snacks) and that it can be processed into cooking oil (groundnut oil), in the production of peanut butter, peanut flour, peanuts candy bars, and in making soup (recipe) et al makes it a profitable crop to cultivate. So, if you live in China, India, the United States or in Nigeria, then you should consider starting your own peanut farm because these countries has some of the most suitable lands and climates that supports the growth of peanuts.
Now let us go through some of the steps to follow to be able to start a peanut farm from the scratch and then grow it to profitability within the shortest time frame;
Starting a Peanut Farm – Sample Business Plan Template
1. Research about Peanuts
One the first and most important thing that you are expected to do before starting your peanut farm is to research about peanuts. There is more to learn when you take out time to read up all you could come across on peanut. You will be able to know the PH value ideal for the cultivation of peanuts, the ideal soil compositions and climatic conditions for peanut farming, how to preserve and store it, the various forms it can be processed into, and the available markets for peanuts. Consequently, endeavor to visit the internet and any library around you to research on peanuts before investing your hard earned money and time in the business.
2. Write Your Business Plan
The next step to take after you have been able to gather all the relevant information on peanut farming is to write a business plan; a blue print on how you intend managing the business. Your business plan should cover how you will source for startup capital, your short term and long term business goal and how to market your peanuts et al. It is important that you capture this strategies on paper because that is only when you can effectively execute your plans.
3. Acquire Suitable Farm Land
If you have your business plan on ground, the next thing to do is to start executing the plans and part of your first step should be how to source and acquire suitable farm land for your peanuts cultivation. Peanuts grow easily on light sandy loam soil, so when discussing with a realtor or a farm land agent, let them know what you intend cultivating in the farm land and they will help you get what you want.
4. Prepare the Land and Plant Your Peanut Seeds
The step that you are expected to follow after you have been able to secure a suitable farm land is to prepare the land and then plan your peanut seeds. In preparing your farm land for peanuts cultivation, you expected to clear the land, till the land, apply manure (optional) and then water the land for it to be soft enough before planting your peanut seeds. Once you are done planting your peanut seeds, it is important that you make provision for watering the seeds at regular intervals; you can make use of irrigation.
5. Harvest Your Peanuts and Make Provision for Preservation and Storage
Peanuts takes 4 to 5 months to ripe and be ready for harvest after planting the seeds. Once your peanuts are ripe, then you should make provision for harvesting them. There are mechanized ways of harvesting peanuts; there is a machine that will help you uproot the peanuts and there is another machine that will help separate the peanuts seeds (pods) from the roots.
Once you are able to separate the pods from the roots, you can either sell it in that form directly to a buyer. But if you don’t have a ready buyer, then you need to dry the peanuts and in some cases remove the nuts from the shells and then store them in a well ventilated facility. If your peanuts are not properly stored, they can be destroyed by insects and that will mean bad business / harvest for you.
6. Market Your Peanuts
Of the major reason why you are into peanut farming is to sell the peanuts once you harvest them. So, part of what you need to do in other to market your peanuts is to talk to companies that make use of peanuts in the manufacturing their products. They are your major clients. You can also invite peanuts merchants to buy from you. They are likely going to buy it directly from your farm.
7. Process Your Peanuts-: There are various forms you can process your peanuts into. As a matter of fact, you are going to make more money if you not only engage in the farming of peanuts but also in processing the peanuts after harvesting them.
These are the tips that you can readily apply to make your peanut farm come to fruition.