How to get from smallholding to farm


Living on a smallholding means plenty of space, a sky full of stars, and the option of living a simpler life. But what happens when you start dreaming of more and can envision your future as a farmer?

A property is considered to be a smallholding if it is in or within 150km of a built-up area, is no bigger than 20 hectares and is connected to a water supply. There must be a home or property on the land and your main source of income must not be farming.

When you’ve decided it is time to make your land earn your income,  we’ve rounded up some tips for getting from the smallholding to a farm.



You’ll need to create a business plan. How much funding do you have access to start the farm? How much money will you need on a monthly basis for running costs? How much do you expect to earn and through which type of farming?

You’ll likely have to consider asset finance to get the farming equipment necessary to make your move into the big leagues.

Start up costs take a long time to earn back as it takes a small fortune to buy the animals or vegetation to start the farming process.

You’ll also need a marketing plan to figure out how to sell your products when demand is high and when there is little call for what you are selling.

When you do buy or rent the land you’ll need to start your farm, you’ll need to consider its location and how suitable it will be for the type of farming you intend doing.



To be a successful farmer, you need to be experienced and know what you are doing. Whatever type of farming you intend doing, it is advisable you spend time on a similar farm to ensure you know what you are getting yourself into.

It is important that you have knowledge of all aspects of the business from start to finish. Remember, farming is a lifestyle and you’ll be living it non-stop daily.


Trained and trustworthy staff

Running a farm is a big job and one you won’t be able to do alone. You’ll need a full complement of staff who know what they are doing and who you can trust to do their work without being micromanaged.



You’ll need to check all the requirements and legalities of farming in certain areas. You’ll also need to know about the rules governing the industry, product and production process. make sure the land is zoned for farming and there are no by-laws which could affect your new endeavor.