Journal of the NACAA
ISSN 2158-9429
Volume 1, Issue 1 - July, 2008


Strategies for Developing Sound Value-Added Enterprises for Small Farmers

Tubene, S.L., Associate Professor and Small Farm Specialist, University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES)


The competitive nature of the U.S. agriculture coupled with the concentration of large agribusiness firms, have pressured small farmers to explore innovative agricultural business ventures. Innovative enterprises could include high-value crops, dried flowers, processed dried herbs, goat cheese, and smoked fish. In addition to supplying fresh and high-quality produce to the market, adding value to agricultural commodities could increase farm income by improving product differentiation. These strategies for developing value-added enterprises are discussed in this paper. Strategies are mostly determined by the market structure in which the firm operates as well as the goal and objectives of the firm. To be successful in developing sound innovative enterprises, small farmers should develop a business plan, acquire an appropriate technology, secure financial and human resources, and develop products with consumers in mind. In addition, farmers should consistently test current strategies, and establish criteria for changing strategies in the future.
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