Many farmers and rural dwellers are interested in diversifying and setting up a new enterprise. There are countless possibilities when trying to identify a realistic option for generating additional household income.
iversification ventures often require a different skill-set and resources than the farm business but the best diversifications complement the existing farm business by improving cashflow, adding profit and cutting volatility.
However, agricultural ventures beyond core farming can sometimes drain time and money from the farm business. The key to thinking about farm diversification is to plan, think ahead and look at every aspect of the project before making a commitment and, most importantly, seek advice.
How to find out more about diversification
That’s why, to help entrepreneurs thinking of trying something new, Teagasc has put together information on a range of farm diversification options which may appeal to you. These are in the form of factsheets, webinars and videos and they provide information on ideas and possible diversification options to be explored.
The main aim of the new resource is to get you thinking. The suite of factsheets compiled by Teagasc specialists and advisors outline the possibilities that are out there and act as a first step for those wishing to set up a new enterprise. With 79 factsheets in total, there is plenty of ideas and opportunities on a wide range of topics including organics, food, equine, horticulture, poultry, goats, forestry, tourism and lots more.
Their weekly webinar entitled ‘Farm Business Options’ will give you an opportunity to hear from people who have already set up alternative and different enterprises to the traditional farming systems.
You can join in the discussion on news, views and interviews every Tuesday at 11am on current topics relevant to farm business diversification in Irish agriculture. Guest presenters feature each week and focus on various topics of interest and there is the opportunity for registered participants to ask questions.
Niche opportunities exist for farmers to utilise their existing resources and expertise to develop a diversified income stream. You can start by gathering all available information on the topic of interest and then follow Teagasc’s practical steps to consider when planning a farm diversification.
These steps will guide you through every aspect of a project before committing, such as:
- Planning permission
- Legal issues
- Financial planning
- Staff and training
You can find a wide array of information on the Teagasc website.