We asked, they answered: how would smallholder farmers use friendly funding for their businesses?
The team at Lokaal Market is connecting, developing, and dreaming big when it comes to the impact of capital access on the good food, agriculture, and energy industries. Often the only thing separating a farm from their goals is a source of friendly funding that allows them to design and build what they need for their business without onerous or predatory terms.
Via our Funding Interest Form, we asked a group of farmers what they would do if they had access to their next $25,000 of business capital in grant or zero interest loan form. Here’s what they told us:
We would plant more trees to increase production. It would also help with our move to organic certification.
We can expand our pastures to grow our flock of sheep in addition to purchasing breeding ewes to speed the process. The grant would also be used to create a stock pond and shelters for the geese. With the grant, much of the operating costs of processing the lambs for sale or meat cuts would be covered.
It would enable us to fence more land to allow our animals more natural and better sustainable grazing and foraging.
It would help a great deal with the purchase of beef cows and pigs on a small scale, and with the purchase of all natural pest defenses for our crops.
The two primary needs of my business now is a good water supply and a good system for adding organic matter to the soil and as fertilizer. The grant money would first be used to achieve those goals. Since the main crop is muscadine grapes and they require a trellis, the remainder of the money would be used to complete the existing trellis system. Finally, any further remaining funds would be used to make the property more suited for “you pick” direct retailing.
The money would be used to invest in our poultry processing facility to increase efficiency, sanitation and improve customer service. It would be possible to provide value added products such as cut ups and reduce costs thus increasing profitability for our farm partners.
I would expand my mushroom business to more than just farmers markets. We would build a grow shed to accommodate such needs. We would fence in our property for heritage poultry and pork to market as well.
I would do a similar project to the Vermont Compost Company where an army of chickens (1,500 to be precise) transform all of the food waste in the state, to the most acclaimed compost available. In Vermont the city trucks go out to collect all the left over food from prisons, restaurants, schools and hospitals and they bring it the Vermont Compost Company where the chickens devour the scraps and turn the mountains of food into pure compost. The spin off businesses are market gardens and huge eggs sales. The only food the chickens eat are from the left overs. It is an amazing project and I would do the same in my area.
Update coops and breeding pens for our poultry, build a brooding space for hatching and raising poultry. Buy equipment needed to maintain our orchard and gardens better. Set up a roadside stand to sell from.
Re-establish a native population of wood ducks which have been killed off by mosquito spraying.
I would expand to more acreage plantings of native pollinators, both honeybees and wild bees along with the pheasants, wild turkeys and sharp-tailed grouse that currently reside in my fields. I am also interested in doing some prairie restoration beyond the pollinator habitat.
Thanks to our Lokaal Market partner eFowl and their fantastic post on blockchain’s potential for the food and agriculture industry.
Also, thank you to everyone who has responded and connected to us via our Funding Interest Form where you too can notify our team of your business’s need for friendly funding and keep up to date with our team’s progress building the Lokaal Market platform and community.