The World Bank indicates that agriculture has the capacity to sustain over 80 percent of the global population that is poor. Agriculture can alleviate poverty, increase income levels, and boost food security. Agriculture contributes 4 percent of the global GDP. Due to advancements in technology, agriculture is poised to continue growing and evolving. Innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI), precision agriculture, big data, and internet of things (IoT) are examples of such advancements. Agriculture is no doubt rich with business ideas that you can take up; this article outlines some money making agriculture business ideas.
Cash Crop Production
A cash crop is a crop that is primarily produced to be sold on the local or export market. In essence, the core reason for its production is to make profit. Depending on your location you can venture into cash crop production. Crops that are considered cash crops also vary from location to location. Maize (or corn), wheat, rice, cotton, coffee, oilseeds, tobacco, and sugar cane are examples of cash crops. Cash crops typically have huge economic value and as such support and funding is often availed.
Livestock production entails the rearing of farming animals to primarily produce meat and milk. Other products, depending on the livestock in question, can be eggs, leather, fur, wool, and manure. Some of the specializations in livestock production are cattle farming, goat farming, poultry, pig farming, rabbits, and sheep, amongst others. Some of those specializations branch out into other core focuses. For example, cattle production can either be beef cattle production or dairy farming. Poultry also represents a broad list of focuses e.g. chickens (broilers, layers, or free range chickens), ducks, and turkeys.
Livestock Feeds And Veterinary
Due to the size and popularity of livestock production you can settle for livestock feeds and veterinary. Veterinary refers to the medical or surgical treatment of animals, especially domestic and farm animals. All livestock that can be reared commercially can be fed with commercial feeds. Such feeds include mixed feeds, concentrates, and roughages. You can choose to manufacture and sell them or you can source and sell. It is strategic to do both livestock feeds and veterinary because veterinary products tend to have higher profit margins.
Vegetable here refers to plants raised for some edible part e.g. leaves, roots, or fruits. The list of vegetable crops is quite long with examples such as tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, lettuce, peppers, carrots, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, and pumpkins. To increase your prospects in vegetable production, use organic farming methods. This entails excluding chemicals and GMOs, using biological pest control methods, and promoting biodiversity, amongst others. Organic certification can qualify your crops for export markets. It is also smart to use specialized farming techniques such as greenhouse farming and hydroponic farming.
Aquaculture is the cultivation of aquatic produce such as aquatic plants, fish, and other aquatic animals. In most parts of the world, tilapia fish farming is the most popular. Naturally occurring fish populations are reported to be plummeting. That is why fish farming is on the rise and with great profitability. After all, over 3 billion people in the world cite fish as part of their main sources of protein. The most commonly used approaches in aquaculture are pond systems, open net pens, submersible net pens, and recirculating systems.
Mushroom farming is highly profitable, especially if you are selling to both wholesale and retail consumers. Mushrooms are relatively easy to cultivate because they do not need huge spaces. You get to enjoy high yields despite the small footprint. They also mature quite fast – some mushroom varieties mature in 4 weeks or less. Gross margins of beyond 50 percent are easily attainable in mushroom farming. There are numerous edible mushrooms that can be commercially produced; oyster mushrooms are one of them.
Fruit production is the growing of perennial plants whose fruits wield economic value. There are different types of fruits namely, simple, aggregate, multiple, and accessory (or false fruit). The most cultivated fruit globally are watermelons. When it comes to fresh fruits, the most cultivated are bananas, apples, and grapes. Other notable fruits are berries, mangos, oranges, pine apples, avocados, and macadamia nuts. Fruit production is mostly long term i.e. you start realizing profits after a while. However, all things being equal, fruits can then be produced consistently for over 20 years.
Value Addition Of Selected Produce
A lucrative business venture in agriculture is value addition. From cash crop production to fruit production there are infinite value addition opportunities. Value addition here entails manufacturing, marketing, and other services that increase the value of agricultural produce. Specialist focuses can be cooling, freezing, processing, extracting, grinding, smoking, drying, and packaging amongst others. There are much higher returns on investment in value addition than just focusing on the primary produce.
Selling Farm Supplies
Farm supplies as a business focuses on selling products used in crop and livestock production. Due to the broadness and diversity of those domains, there are many niching options. The two basic approaches you can use are sourcing and selling or making and selling. Examples of farm supplies are machinery, specialized vehicles, agrochemicals, hand tools, structures, personal protective equipment, feeding and watering equipment, and many more.
Agricultural Engineering And Consultancy
This also comes with infinite niching approaches. Your choice will largely depend on your expertise, experience, and area of interest. For example, you can start an engineering and consultancy business in greenhouse farming. The engineering aspect would involve providing equipment and even setting up greenhouse structures for clients. This would mean you also get to provide advisory and training services as well. You can also do the same for hydroponic farming. You can start such a business focusing on beekeeping or fish farming. The basic idea is to provide such services in any agricultural niche.
These are 10 of some of the top money-making agriculture business ideas to consider. Leverage on the increasing digitization of agriculture which is creating more prospects. A sustainability focus is now pertinent in agriculture nowadays. That will increase your chances of getting funding and the necessary support.