With those questions answered first, you should have a short-list of crops or livestock of interest. More homework is now in order. Time to explore if you have a suitable growing environment, and the necessary infrastucture, equipment and other resources in place. You will also need to start the process of investigating your production system at the same time.
Options for agroforestry finance don’t differ greatly from those for other agricultural ventures. But, after you select a target market and outline a marketing strategy, finance is your next most important consideration. And you should have a financial plan in mind before making production decisions.
If you are one of those lucky few for which money is no object, this article is not for you. For the rest of us, money always has some importance in our decisions, and you should read on.
Where and how you sell the ‘fruits’ of your labour is ultimately the most important factor in the success of agroforestry or any agricultural endeavor. Producing the perfect berry crop, or veneer log, or experience, can bring satisfaction in, and of, itself. But if you can’t sell what you produce, you will fail.
And you can’t eat satisfaction, nor make a mortgage payment with it.
Agroforestry isn’t rocket science. It can be far more complicated than that. Planning for an agroforestry venture means keeping abreast of many moving parts. Each which may come with its own set of risks and uncertainties.
All of which can leave new producers or even seasoned veterans pondering where to start.
Successfully navigating the riparian health assessment (RHA) procedure benefits from three key habits: tuning your eyes, taking good notes and being systematic. It also requires being conscience of your biases. And, you should also have some understanding of what is normal, or what might be missing or modified.