Guide

Diversifying farming businesses

Advantages of farm diversification

If you diversify your farm into a rural enterprise you're likely to grasp a range of benefits which you don't often find in a traditional farm:

  • Increased revenue - by taking on new activities you and your family are likely to enjoy an increased farm income and a better quality of life.
  • Adaptability - branching out encourages you to be willing to change and look out for other opportunities. By adding a new activity you will learn what works for you and your farm and be better able to make further changes in the future and respond to new opportunities as they arise.
  • Security - by moving into new activities farms can provide you and your family members with a long term future and greater stability. By branching out you will increase the number of sources of revenue for your farm ensuring that you are less susceptible to any one income source letting you down.
  • Tradition - diversifying can provide you and your family with a means of carrying on your farming tradition. While the focus of diversifying may be on increasing income and securing a future it can provide the means of subsidising and continuing the traditional activities that are valued and enjoyed.
  • Develop new skills - running a new venture will provide the opportunity to increase your skills and expand your network of business contacts. From management to marketing and finance to customer service diversifying will develop your business flair.

Being realistic in your budgeting is critical as a common pitfall is to over estimate income and to under estimate the costs of running the business. Rural NI enterprise advisers can help farmers and farm families identify funding and support.

Rural NI enterprise advisers can help farmers and farm families identify funding and support.