Agricultural production, both in the crop and livestock aspects, entails carrying out certain activities that are relevant to the success of the farming business. Whereas in the crop sector, farmers engage in a set activities categorized as pre-planting, actual planting and post-planting operations , the livestock farmers prepares the ground for stocking of the breeds of animals they choose to keep, carryout the actual stocking and thereafter, ensure that the stocked animals are nurtured to maturity. In crop farming for instance, farmers target the right time for land preparation activities before the actual planting takes place. After planting, they carry out weeding, fertilizer application, pest and disease control, harvesting, processing and distribution to the end user. On the other hand cattle farmer, for instance, must accomplish among others, activities like purchasing calves, taking care of sick calves, administering vaccinations and assisting with calving within a certain time frame.
Just like in any other production activity; the successful producers must have ability to accomplish tasks in a timely manner . For a rational producer therefore, one of the pertinent economic questions is –when is the right time to produce? This is also an important question in farming. As it has been observed, the unique characteristic of farm production is the sensitivity of output to timeliness of farm work . Given the biological nature of agricultural production, natural variable (especially environmental and climate elements) economic variables (majorly markets) and risks involved, production activities must be accomplished in a timely manner when opportunities present themselves. Often, farmers produce to catch a particular market for their produce. Livestock products like fowls, turkey and ram are targeted especially for particular festive periods of the year for maximum sales and profit. This implies that farming activities must be prioritized with certain allowance for flexibilities which allows a farmer to fit their production perfectly into the natural, political, economic atmosphere of the production area.
When crop farming operations are not done in time, the following effects are notable; a complete crop failure, loss of quality and reduction in yield . Farmers in Africa face a major challenge in lack of capital. Shortage of fund often lead to delayed implementation of farming operations since capital is required to acquire other inputs needed. It is therefore necessary to Increase farmers’ and agro-input dealers’ access to capital (inputs) especially through innovative means like targeted vouchers, and inventory capital. For instance, the input subsidy initiatives of some governments in Africa are targeted at ensuring timely access to input by farmers through the voucher wallet system which link them with the nearest agro-input dealers to them . By playing their specified roles as obligated, the sustainability of such schemes can be ensured for timely access to input by farmers .
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