By Features Desk
Monday, March 23, 2015.
Farming is an industry that has been around for thousands of years. It’s one of those industries that we all depend on, and will always survive any economic problems around the world.
Some people think that farming is a dying industry. After all; we live in an age of technology. But the good news is that innovations in technology only enhance the industry, not replace it. We still need to rely on crops and animals to provide us with sources of food and drink.
One statistic that we can all agree on is that the world’s population is increasing at an alarming rate. Did you know that the global demand for food is set to double by the year 2050? That’s right; in just 35 years there will need to be more farms producing crops and livestock for us all to survive!
There are plenty of reasons to get into the farming industry. It doesn’t matter whether you want to be a farmer or you wish to start a business supplying services to the industry. Here are some of the top reasons the farming industry needs you today:
Imported food contributes to greenhouse gas emissions
As I mentioned earlier, the need for food will double by 2050. But what’s also interesting is that greenhouse gas emissions will also increase as a result. Part of the problem is down to the amount of food that we import from foreign lands.
It’s no secret that a few foods grow better in some parts of the world than others. Because of our increasing desire for exotic foods, we have to import them in refrigerated trucks and airplanes.
For the most part, logistics companies do not use carbon-neutral transport. Food often gets carried in vehicles that use petrol or diesel engines. As you know, internal combustion engines emit CO2 gasses into the atmosphere.
Advances in technology mean that it’s possible to grow all types of fruit and vegetables anywhere in the world. The trouble with the farming industry is that farmers seldom invest in the equipment needed to do so. That’s because it often works out cheaper for retailers to just import exotic foods.
I read with interest how a former naval officer living in the UK became the first person to grow bananas there! He set up a solar room at his home to grow them and chose musa basjoo plants. In essence, they are a form of banana plants that are native to Japan and China.
Of course, that’s just one example of how you can grow food that is usually found in other parts of the world. Do you have the capital to invest? If so, setting up a farm that produces food often imported from elsewhere will be a lucrative enterprise.
Land prices are cheap
We all know about the devastating effect the global economic crisis has had on the world. One of the casualties of that is the property market. But one good thing to come out of this sorry saga is that land prices are now cheaper than ever before.
That means if you wanted to set up a new farm, it would cost you less to buy the acres of land that you need. It’s possible to find arable land in many parts of the world that won’t cost you a fortune. You can then use the money you saved towards building up your new farm business.
Used farm equipment is cheap
Some people believe that you need to spend six-figure sums on machinery and equipment to operate a farm. But here’s the thing: savvy farmers don’t buy new! The reasons are the same for those that opt for buying used cars instead of new ones.
As with cars, the value of farm equipment depreciates (loses value) over time. If you want to buy a “new” machine, it’s worth investing in a model that is 12 months old. That way, you can save thousands off the price of a new one. And you will still have reliable equipment to use on your farm!
Websites like http://plant.autotrader.co.uk/ are good places to find used trucks, tractors and so forth. You can also find used equipment for sale by looking at farming industry publications. Often, you will find classifieds sections within them.
The demand for setting up farms in developing nations is high
In many countries in Africa, there is a growing demand for new farms to get set up. The problem with those nations is they often rely on imported food flown to them from Europe and America, in the form of food aid.
There is a major drive to make developing nations self-sustainable. If you’ve got the resources available, you can start growing the fruit and vegetables people need to survive. And you’ll also be working towards removing the wider world hunger problem.
People have a desire for locally-grown food
Consumers are wising up to the fact that their food gets delivered to them from destinations thousands of miles away. They also have a fair idea of what the carbon footprint is of those journeys.
If we are all to tackle the problems associated with climate change, we can start by eating food produced in local areas. I haven't seen a farm that has issues selling food to local wholesalers and retailers.
Many savvy farmers will open up “farm shops” too. They enable consumers like you and I to buy fresh fruit, vegetables and meat direct from the source, as it were. The carbon footprint of such purchases is small. In fact, if you walk to your nearest farm shop, it will be zero!
Some farms that grow fruit and vegetables allow customers to pick the food they want. Once they’ve made their choices, the food gets sold according to the weight of the items.
Prices for locally-grown foods are often cheaper than ones sold by supermarkets. The buying process itself is also a fun event for all the family. That’s because you get the chance to see your food growing at a farm.