If you are serious about farming, you must plan ahead – something will inevitably go wrong
A man with farming in his veins took the big step five years ago and applied for formal financing to start a cattle herd. Since then he has not looked back, now counting around 130 animals in his herd comprising both cattle and goats.
Martin Lambert farms on a relatively small piece of land in the Outjo district. He approached Agribank for a loan to plant the germ on his breeding herd of cattle. This was successful and he bought twenty cows. The was the small beginning of what has grown over the five years to a sizeable herd.
Now he has decided to apply again for financing to buy his own bull since he has to rent bulls from his neighbours which makes herd management unnecessarily complex and sometimes tricky.
When his new loan is approved he will immediately start scouting for an appropriate bull that complements his herd.
In the beginning it was not easy but he was mentored by experts from Agribank, notably Arnoldt /Gaseb, and agricultural advisor who steered him through the basics of farm management, animal husbandry and financial planning.
“So far I credit my experience to Arnoldt who assisted me greatly especially during the drought. He showed me a lot on how to care for my animals and treat various ailments, about feeds and natural supplements. I followed the advice and thus far I haven’t lost a single animal,” Lambert said proudly.
He advises other farmers who want to make the transition to commercial farming to approach Agribank for loans, but he cautions that there must always be a repayment plan including contingencies for unforeseen events.
“There is a risk of failing to repay your instalments at some point because of unforeseen eventualities such as droughts. It is crucial to plan ahead because in farming something will eventually go wrong,” the farming sage advised.
“New farmers should act swiftly and decisively when things don’t go according to plan. Without planning, it is an invitation to failure. Farming is not to sell your cattle for a quick profit to compensate for lack of planning and then claim that the livestock died from drought.”
Wise farmer Martin Lambert (right) with Rino Muranda, Agribank’s Manager of Marketing and Communication at an evening lecture in Outjo to teach upcoming farmers the importance of livestock management.