In different parts of the world, agricultural produce is marketed and sold to consumers and food processing firms in their raw form. Such a practice denies farmers the opportunity for higher earnings and growth. Going by the various case studies, it’s unbelievable what farmers are paid for their raw products and what the food processing industries earn in return after adding value to the raw product.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been instances where farmers selling dairy products are forced to dump their milk due to the short shelf-life and perishable nature of the products. Food processors are always sensitive when taking milk from the dairy farmers that at times are forced to dispose of the milk at a very low cost to avoid wastage. Such instances can be avoided when farmers come up with strategies on how to add value to their produce.
Here are some of the reasons why farmers should consider value addition to their farm produce;
The value of farm inputs such as fertilizers, machinery, fuel, and chemicals are always on the increase making the cost of producing raw agricultural products to be high. Farmers that sell raw farm produce tend to have a limited amount of profit which is oftentimes not guaranteed due to a unique set of challenges that comes with farming.
Through value addition, farmers can improve the quality of their raw farm products and be able to sell at a price that gives them much more profit. As things are, farmers get to do most of the tough work and end up with very low returns. If you want to know that food processors are making the most profit then just take a look at some of the farmer’s gatherings that take place in the communities. You are likely to see the industrial food processors coming in with some of the latest car brands while the farmers are with the same vehicles they have used over the years.
Lack of storage facilities and processing capability is a key factor that has contributed to the disposal of raw farm products. By considering value addition, farmers will be able to process their farm products and sell at an appropriate amount without having to worry about the short shelf life of their produce.
Instead of leaving it all to the industrial food processing companies, farmers can bridge that gap by adding value to their products.
Diversify on Products
Value addition makes it possible to diversify on their product offerings. For example, a farmer with several thousands of acres of land that grows coconut can opt to process their coconut instead of selling it directly to the processors and consumers. Instead of just selling the coconut, they can process coconut water, coconut cream, vegetable fruit, and vegetables to make soup. The farmer will then be able to fetch a substantial amount from the diverse products.
A farmer selling dairy products can process dairy to make pasteurized milk, yogurt, cheese, and even be able to feed the animals such as pigs with by-products from the produce. That in turn helps in lowering the costs of animal feeds in the process.
It’s important to note that gaining valuable training is key if one is to succeed in the farming business. Through community networks, and with the help of organizations such as Ecolonomic Action Team, you can get insight on how to best improve your farming practices for increased profitability and sustainability.
P.S: For more FREE online learning opportunities, Join the EAT FREE Community! Where you can make a little money, making the planet better!