Do or Don't? [SC5]

[Stream of Consciousness - SC]

Working on a lemongrass production business in an agriculture cooperative, I am responsible for putting together a financial projection for each potential producing member so that they can see, for that much amount of land they have, how much they can generate as a revenue, how much they need to spend, and how much they will make as profit. This analysis is very crucial to convince agriculture cooperative members to join the producing groups and start growing lemongrass. Financial projection helps us get a picture of how viable a business idea or model is. It can also give us an idea of when the business will break even or start generating profit.

Two weeks into collecting data and making the financial project, I realized that I made a mistake. I over-calculated the yield of lemongrass per hectare. I think my calculation formula and method are correct, but I didn't put into consideration the dead space to be left out for walking paths in lemongrass farm. Using some raw data, procurement, mathematics, and drawing, I calculated the yield of lemongrass on 1 hectare of land to be about 42.5 tons. There are two ways that lead to this result. First, I used the dimension of the farm, length and width, spacing within row, and spacing between rows to find number of holes per row and number rows in the farm. With the total number of holes, I then multiply it with the yield per hole expected in Kilogram. It gives me the the total yield. Second, I used the number plants per square meter to find the total number of plant per hectare. The outcome is similar to the first method.

However, this calculation alone is not accurate enough to identify the yield per square meter. With the two methods above, I found the yield of lemongrass per hectare to be 42.5 tons, but it is twice the number of yield we got from other agriculture cooperative who have been growing lemongrass for many years and become experienced with it. They told me, "They can get 27 tons per hectare if the soil is good, but only 16 tons per hectare if the soil is not fertile." Because of this error, the profit that was estimated was skewed up leaving the farmer with high hope and positivity.

What I can take away from this mistake is that standard calculation alone is not enough. To be accurate, we need to also ask for raw data from experience farmers or people who have done what I want to do to collect data to compare with the result of our calculation. For example, for the case of lemongrass, we still do the standard calculation, but we also should ask the other AC or farmers, who have grown lemongrass before us, about the yield per hectare. Then we can find the average of all the results to find a number that is the most accurate.

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