Horticulture and the professionalization of management

Horticulture and the professionalization of management

The combination of practices and technologies focused on the cultivation and production of vegetables, fruits, ornamental plants and forests culminates in the science known today as horticulture, an activity that differs from other sectors of agribusiness mainly in the form of production, but is no different in how important management is to the activity.

The horticulture we refer to here is the production of vegetables, tubers, roots and other short cycle crops, also known as olericulture. But the fact is that smaller production cycles, great diversification of products, integrated and specific management, logistic factor of distribution channels, small scale, among other factors, urge an efficient management for the success of the activity. Still, in the national horticulture chain there are several small family farmers, which highlights even more this need.

The operational efficiency of the field – one of the main factors for the success of the activity – will be the result of small day-to-day decisions to ensure economic success. Resources need to be employed efficiently on a daily basis, not only inputs, but labor, machinery and facilities (greenhouse for example), and especially capital. The control and management of these resources is the first step for the success of the activity, which still needs to be supported by a good strategy.

In Brazil, there are several strategies for the success of horticulture. Strategies of vertical integration, where the integrated producer acts, not only on primary production, but also on the distribution and sale of products to the final consumer; differentiation strategy, such as organic, where the final product has greater added value; large scale and operational efficiency; among several others that, to remain competitive, share a common factor: efficient management.

It is the efficient management which will give all the support to understand the dynamics of the operational capacity, and how this is associated to the productivity of its resources, besides allowing to explore all the potential to offer a quality product to the retail or industry, and to position itself in a competitive way in the market, offering the best services to its clients.

Professional management is a great watershed for the success of horticulture. There are several management tools that can be used to help the rural producer in decision making, such as software, for example. However, all of them should be gradually introduced, so that the entire team is aligned and can enjoy its benefits, listed below:

Benefits of professional management for horticulture:

  • Evaluate the production costs per crop, greenhouse or even foot;
  • Identify the most profitable crop and the main cost components;
  • To evaluate the productivity of inputs, employees, machines and facilities;
  • Marry the cash flow with the highest profitability of production;
  • Evaluate whether the purchase of germinated seeds is more profitable than producing them on your property, and what this impacts on the production cycle;
  • Identify the cost benefit of the mulching installation to reduce costs with pest, disease and weed control;
  • Know the percentage of production loss to ensure product delivery (If you admit a 10% loss in production and have a delivery of 300kg/week, you need to schedule a delivery of 330kg/week, for example);
  • What is the cost/benefit of the best shade for your area and culture (white, black, black + green), and others.

And with the professionalization of management, strategic issues are now discussed to maximize economic profits in the short, medium and long term:

  • Identify opportunities and threats of your agribusiness;
  • Define the appropriate commercial strategy (purchase of inputs and sale of products);
  • Define the most profitable product for each situation/season;
  • Expand and evaluate marketing channels;
  • Mitigate risks of seasonal price volatility;
  • Analyze the benefits of a product with seals and certifications and added value brought;
  • Among others.

For most family horticulturists, the professionalization of management in the sector can be of great value for the better management of production resources, especially with regard to financial management, since the families end up “mixing” the money of the company and the family, which ponders other issues in evaluating the business.

In short, dedicating time to professionalizing the management of agribusiness guarantees the producer greater control of production and competitiveness in the sector, which supported by indicators and analysis, translate the reality of the facts, and provide support for more certain decisions in relation to the business and objective, which will ensure the long-term economic sustainability of the activity.

Have you ever thought about starting to professionalize your management for free? Perfarm offers a free farm management software, which when allied to the business culture, guarantees many benefits. Know a little more about the services offered by Perfarm, and as together, we can leverage the production of fruits, vegetables, vegetables, and others, of your agribusiness!