At the Agr-Talk forum in Iloilo City last May 12, 2018 we discussed some of the notable traits of people who are into farming. We might as well write them here for the benefit of our readers around the world.
Now, what makes a farmer successful? First, he has to be hard working. But being a hard worker is not enough. He has to have focus on what he has embarked on, coupled with discipline.
Discipline is a very important trait so that he will pursue what he has started without wavering. If he has promised himself that he will save 30% or his income, he should do that withot fail. Another good trait is that he should have some business sense. This means he can spot money-making opportunities that come his way. And he should not procrastinate once he sees the opportunity.
Successful agri-people know how to save. They should not squander their income on unnecessary expenditure. And they should know how to invest what they save. A person with enough cash at his disposal can immediately launch a project he strongly believes to be a money-maker.
The successful farmer considers his farming as a business and not just as a way of life.. He keeps records of income and expenses, performance of crops planted, and more. He keeps on studying and experimenting. He reads agricultural publications, business magazines, attends trainings and seminars, visits successful farms by joining farm tours.
Very important for a farmer to be successful is knowing how to market his produce. In our lecture, we cited the smart move of a farmer cultivating more than four hectares in Tacloban City whom we met about 20 years ago. He had the bright idea of renting a space in the public market which his wife and daughter-in-law managed.
The market stall was where all the harvests from the farm were brought and sold at very reasonable prices. He maximized production by planting every possible space with many kinds of vegetables. He did not leave any space vacant for more than one week. He had ready seedlings to plant whenever there was vacant space.
The fellow also knew what his customers want and need. He observed that in those old days, the buyers in Tacloban bought the papaya that sold for P3 to P5 each, not the big fruits that sold for P20 or more. So he decided to grow the papaya with small fruits.
Honesty is one more important trait of a successful farmer. He knows how to treat his customers fairly. In fact the Tacloban fellow (let’s just call him David) always had the welfare of his customers in mind. During fiestas and other special occasions like Christmas, he did not increase his prices. Why should he? He reasoned out that he owed his success to his customers so they should never be abused.
David also knew how to maximize production. He had a piggery and had a dozen sows. He injected them with hormone so they would come in heat together and so they could be bred at the same time. They also gave birth at the same time. The piglets of two mother pigs were distributed to the other sows so that the two were freed from nursing their litters. And so they were bred again in a few weeks.
He slaughtered his own fatteners and sold the pork in their own stall. Unlike other raisers, he slaughtered his pigs at 60 kilos instead of the usual 80 kilos. Why? Because that is the size that they can sell in one day in their stall. In other words, David was very practical.