We learned more about:
· Plants and the way to grow them.
In the first year we studied the root, the stem, the leaves, the fruits.
In the second year we studied how to grow certain plants: groundnuts, cotton, millet, or coffee, cocoa, yams.
· The soil and how to work it.
We saw what must be done to conserve good soil and to improve its fertility.
· Animals and how to raise them.
In the first year we studied how to feed and look after animals, how to house them and breed them.
In the second year we studied cattle breeding and sheep breeding, or how to keep chickens.
So from these two years of the Better Farming Series we have learned the techniques of crop farming and of animal husbandry.
All farmers need a good knowledge of crop farming techniques and animal husbandry techniques.
If they don't know these techniques, they will not be good farmers.
But is it enough for farmers to know only the techniques of farming?
No, a farmer must also know how to organize and mane his farm business.
The farmer is a businessman
A farmer is not only a man who works with his hands.
He must also work with his head.
He must think in order to know how to manage his business better.
He must be a business manager.
At one time, on traditional farms, village people worked to produce whatever would satisfy the needs of their families and of the local inhabitants, that is to say: food and drink, clothes (from local cotton or animal hides), housing (from dried earth and millet stalks). This was subsistence farming.
Now, on a modern farm, farmers still produce part of their own food. But more and more they produce crops that can be sold, such as coffee and cotton. Nowadays farmers work to earn money (see Part 2: What a Modern Farm Business Does).
A good farmer must organize and manage his business so as to earn more money.
· He must know how to earn more
money. We shall study this on Part 3.
· He must know how to spend his money better, how to make better use of his money. We shall study this on Part 4: The farmer's expense.
· He must join with other farmers to make better progress. We shall study this on Part 5.