– You need money. But this is definitely not enough. Many aspiring farming entrepreneurs start with good capitals and after a couple of years they realize they have been only wasting a lot of money and they are still there chasing a profit that, for one reason or another, seems not be achievable yet. It can be a nightmare.

– You need experience in the specific industry (eg. vegetables & fruits, flowers, large scale crops, coffee, tea, etc). Experience is not something you can buy, it is not something you can be trained for, it is not something you can acquire with will power.

Experience comes from the number of years you have been in agriculture in that specific industry, from the much you have been hustling, from the much you have been interacting with other people in the same industry, from the number of things you have done, from the number of things you have tried, from the number of failures, from the number of successes/failures stories you have been witnessing being in the same industry, from the number of different farming regions you have known, from the number of different farming environments you have been exposed to, from the number of different types of soil/water/weather you have been working with …

– You need to be fair with people. And of course you need to know what is fair and what is not. If you are not fair you will have a high turnover and continuously loose people after you have trained them. If you are “too much fair” some people will take advantage and indulge in laziness and inefficiency and you will also in-directly allow “politics”.
You know what is fair by experience (see above about the meaning of the word experience). And you know what is fair by having been there in the shoes of your people -lower management, supervisors, workers- doing what they do or at least most things of what they do.

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– You need a scientific background. You actually need to know about chemistry, biochemistry, plant physiology, soil chemistry, water chemistry, crop nutrition, pathology, entomology, crop protection…
And of course without passion and experience on the field, all this is just theory.

– You need to be financially literate.

– You need to be “hands-on”. You cannot run a farm giving instructions from the office. You need to spend time on the field with your people and oversee operations.

– You need an analytical mind able to plan efficiently, and at the same time, connection with your heart.

– You need Leadership.
Very over-used word nowdays isn’t it ?
Leadership means to be a man/woman of people, empower people, inspire people. Naturally.
It cannot be learned. And it doesn’t even come with experience. Its about who you are.

– You need Humility. No matter how good you are, you still need to learn. From anyone.

CREDIT: Nicola Romano || www.nicolaromano.com

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