Article by – Shishir Tripathi
Intern at Hariyali Foundation
In collaboration with
For an Agrarian Economy like India, the agricultural sector should contribute more than any other sector in the Gross Domestic Product (G.D.P) but even after being an occupation of almost 55 -60% of people, agriculture is contributing just 15 – 20% in the G.D.P. Being an occupation of such a large group of people and still minimal share in the G.D.P. of the economy means that there are certain limitations which are needed to be overcome.
The biggest limitation is that the agricultural products right from the simple wheat to a produced wheat bread, there is absence of proper agricultural marketing.
Now, when one uses this terms agricultural marketing, he or she is simply referring to an organized process of planning, organizing, directing and handling of agricultural produce in such a way as to satisfy the farmers, intermediaries and consumers. It involves numerous inter connected activities like planning production, growing and harvesting, grading, packing and packaging, transport, storage, agro and food processing, provision of market information, distribution, advertising and sale.
Agricultural marketing is based upon the idea of reducing the distance between the farmers (producers) and the consumers. It is a broader concept not just limited to villages and small towns but across the International borders too. Planned agriculture which comes under agricultural marketing is important so that whatever crop is produced it meets the demand of the consumers in the form of finished products. It aims in such a way that there is neither a situation of excess supply or excess production (that is just left uncared without good storage facilities) nor a situation of excess demand.
It also includes growing and harvesting of crops paying extra attention towards the techniques followed in the production process and efficient use of land and human resource along with technological resources too.
Grading is also done amongst different types of harvested crops and other agricultural products so that different types of products are available to different types of consumers with different requirements and available financial resources.
After Grading, the product is needed to be packaged in such way that it must be appealing to the consumers including use of different images and colors, and involving the details of the ingredients and the nutritional value of the product. Packaging the products in such a way that they must last longer and can be stored as well at the stockrooms and at consumers’ place as well.
Storage facilities are needed to developed by the government and other concerned authorities so that whichever good is produced in ample amounts, it can be stored for future without any degradation in the quality of the product due to insects, rats and other factors like moisture, rain, heat, etc.
Various researchers are trying to study markets and find the idealistic market structure for people living in villages and small town. The emphasis to markets is given in such a way that they meet the requirements of all the people living in that particular area.
Also, the transportation facilities are needed to be facilitated properly and should be made available to the producers in the remote areas of the country. The transportation costs must be affordable so that every producer willing to transport his produce or product should not stop himself or herself in being a part of this long chain and enjoying the benefits after the final sale of the produce or other agricultural products.
Now the most important of all is branding and advertising. Even if any other foreign firm or domestic firm is willing to sell the product under its label then also proper advertising should be there for the given product through Television ads and promotions through social media on various Apps. Advertising should be done in such a way that the product should look so appealing to the consumer and an urgent feel of purchasing the concerned product should be felt by the consumer after watching the advertisement. The buyers must feel that how important the product is to them in their daily lives after watching the product’s advertisement.
And the market for the product is again very important whether the product is sold online through e-commerce sites or is sold by various outlets in the cities and towns. A well managed system is needed so that the good that is sold to consumer is of the best quality and a justified price and the producers along with the intermediaries involved in this long chain are satisfied and get their share after the sale of a good.
Agro products not only include crop produce and other products manufactured from those crops but also the products produced by the people at local level such as milk from cattle, honey from bee-keeping, etc.
Such mechanisms will increase the share of primary sector in the G.D.P. The state and the central governments should make provisions and provide incentives to the producers and the intermediaries for developing such a fruitful mechanism that will be giving good returns to the country as well in the form of overall growth of people in remote areas and prosperity of the nation too.