As a respectable citizen, you ought to buy land, as the Hebrew proverb states “He is not a full man who does not own a piece of land.” And the fact that land is considered a valuable investment as Mark Twain puts it clearly “Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.” I aligned myself with the above and started my journey of acquiring the land in this article.
Purpose of the land
There are many reasons why people acquire land for example to start a business, keep animals, build a rural home, plant trees, excavate natural resources, and sometimes just comply with peer pressure among other reasons. The purpose is very important as it determines your commitment to allocating resources to develop and maintain the land. In my case, I wanted land where I could practice sustainable farming that offers a quiet, natural experience and a fresh siren environment in the village and forest setting within 30 km of Kampala.
In selecting a 30 km distance from Kampala I was taking into account the convenience of the target market, the urban population that tends to live in a noisy and partially polluted environment. The farm is planned a stone’s throw away from the city in order to give an easy escape route for the urban dwellers to run away from the noise to a quiet mind refreshing area. Therefore, I took into account the needs of the potential customers.
I also knew using my background as a business advisor that the location of a business is an important variable in its value. Therefore, the location of the land will have an impact on its long-term value of the land. I considered buying land within my means and in areas that had the potential for land appreciation within the next 20 years.
Village and Community environment
I looked for a village setting that had some people with basic farming skills that would benefit from the farm including sharing of new knowledge and provision of labor among other things. At the time the residents of the area were mainly small-scale farmers growing foodstuffs for their own consumption and the balance for the urban market in Kampala.
I had to confirm the climatic conditions of the area in terms of rainfall, wind, temperature, and humidity among other things. I consulted Kawanda Agricultural Research Institute located in the same neighborhood on the climatic conditions. The area has two rain seasons each year namely March to June and September to December and other conditions were favorable for farming.
I also took the soil samples to government laboratories for testing and the soil was found to be suitable for mixed farming and lower areas of the land could be used for rice growing and fish farming. The lower areas of the land were also found to have sand mixed with clay.
Existence of Water on land
The survey reports of the area indicated a permanent river stream meandering through the lower part of the land flowing from the South to the North direction. We confirmed that the source of the river was partly on the farm. This confirmed that the land had adequate water that could be used for irrigation during the dry seasons.
My aim was to buy land cheaply but with a high potential for capital growth within the next twenty years. I had to search for cheap land in order to save money for the hidden cost of farm development that involved clearing the land for farming activities. In fact, I later came to appreciate that the cost of developing was higher than the cost of acquiring it.
The value of the land was quite cheaper despite being 25 km from Kampala City because the area lacked the basic infrastructure including roads, water, electricity, and no urban area. I recall there were only two shops in the area which opened only after midday because the owners had to go to their gardens before opening the shops. The main activity then was farming and taking the farm produce to the market located 25 km away by means of a bicycle.
I mobilized the local community in developing the road from the Wakiso shopping centre to the Banda area because I had a lorry and a tractor that the community used for transport to and from Banda to the Wakiso shopping centre.
In conclusion, I highly recommend that the above factors should be considered by someone before acquiring land for farming activities. We should all aim at making some positive contribution to the environment we live in. “If you don’t control your environment somebody else will.” -Grant Cardone. But certainly not in your favor.