BioResource and Agricultural Engineering Department
BS in Agricultural Systems Management
Richard A. Cavaletto
This senior project was undertaken to determine the feasibility of creating a profitable farm in Ethiopia using commercial farming methods in order to raise the standard of living for Ethiopian subsistence farmers and improve food security in Ethiopia. Initially, a farmer’s cooperative was the model proposed for this farm. However, further research into the realities of Ethiopian agribusiness and the difficulties smallholder farmers face in obtaining capital, along with in-depth financial analysis called for a modification of the business model. Consequently, this senior project discusses the design and delineation of a business plan for a privately-held, commercial, teff grain farm in Ethiopia that aims to empower smallholder Ethiopian farmers by providing them with a living wage while enabling them to build equity in a profitable farm corporation.
Research, business model design and financial analysis yielded a business plan for a farm, processing mill and distribution framework that is marginally profitable by the end of Year One and sufficiently profitable to be capable of expansion by Year Five.