In agriculture, the farm manager is usually regarded as the entrepreneur whose duties include the organisation, administration, production and marketing of produce from the farm. The reward for management is profit.
FUNCTIONS OFA FARM MANAGER
The functions of a farm manager can be grouped into five major headings:
- The farm manager secures suitable land for farming.
- He determines what to produce.
- He determines the scale of production.
- He procures loan or capital for farming.
- He recruits or employs labour or workers for the farm.
- He decides on which enterprise(s) to undertake, given the available resources, e.g. fish farming and rice production.
- A farm manager supervises the work on the farm.
- He arranges work roasters.
- He directs staff on day-to-day activities.
- He makes arrangement for staff welfare.
- He rewards or disciplines staff according to their performance.
- He organises the training of manpower in the farm.
- He maintains good labour relations to avoid the disruption of farm activities.
- He acquaints himself with government agricultural policies with respect to opportunities and constraints they pose on the farm.
- A farm manager is responsible for the purchase and use of farm inputs.
- He ensures the health of animals/crops on the farm.
- He makes arrangement for general security of the farm.
- He ensures the adequate supply of feeds.
- He adheres to modern farming techniques.
- He avoids waste by efficient use and maintenance of farm resources.
- He combines resources to yield optimum profit.
- He sets production targets and wage level.
- The farm manager determines the quantity of produce to sell.
- He determines the best marketing channel to use to make maximum profits.
- He determines when to sell to make maximum profit.
- He determines at what price to sell.
- He may also be responsible for the processing of farm produce.
- He monitors marketing trends in order to decide on commodities to produce in his farm.
- He arranges for storage and warehousing of unsold produce.
- He keeps the general records of the farm.
- He supervises accounts and bookkeeping of all operations on the farm.
- He analyses farm operations with respect to targets and objectives.
- He assesses the staffing conditions.
- He develops new strategies for further improvement of farm operations.
PROBLEMS OF A FARM MANAGER
Problems which a farm manager may face during the course of discharging his duties include:
- Inadequate Information: He may lack information on where to buy farm inputs, or acquire information on new innovations and current prices of farm produce.
- Problems of Marketing: He may not know how and where to sell his produce, at what time to sell and at which price to sell to make maximum profit.
- Inadequate Farm Input: Farm input like seeds, feed, fertilizers and chemicals, may be inadequate, scarce and expensive to get.
- Financial Problems: He may not have enough capital. Banks may not provide loans and produce may not sell at the right price to make more money to reinvest in the business.
- Inadequate Personnel: He may not get the right management team to work on the farm. They may be too expensive to employ for the farm.
- Government Policies: Bad government policies like importation of food which are also produced by the farm manager may lead to losses, discouragement and may even result in the folding up of the business.
- Transport Problems: He may not have a vehicle to do the running around, to deliver farm input and to take farm produce to the market.
- Administrative Problem: He may lack the technical know-how, good human relationship with staff, and the condition of his health may affect the performance of his duties.