Agricultural marketing entails the strategy and processes involved in moving an agricultural product from the producer to the final user through a medium that satisfies the need of every actor along the value chain.
Over recent years of agricultural practice in numerous parts of the world, this aspect of agriculture has posed to be key to any successful agricultural venture.
In past centuries, there was no need for marketing as people got agricultural produce from either their farm or a neighbour’s farm.
Majority of farmers produced only what was needed by their immediate consumers hence, they had ready consumers.
However, there has been a change in the agricultural consumer base and farming has gone beyond the communal system to a global system whereby individuals seek for products beyond what the next-door farmer produces and farmers are cultivating crops that would feed their immediate neighbours and many more individuals outside their locality.
This change in consumer base is what calls for agricultural marketing which enables farmers to reach a larger audience and enables consumers to connect with an agricultural producer that has their desired product.
For a marketer, every product has a form in which it is most desirable by consumers and agricultural marketing encompasses the process of identifying a product, the audience that needs it, the art of presenting the product in the form that it is most desirable by the consumer and the best channel of communicating with the consumer.
Effective agricultural marketing answers the question of ‘how, where and when’ a consumer can get a needed product. It is important to identify the right set of customers and although consumers are everywhere, they are not in all places at all times.
For instance, the ideal customer for a maize farmer who cultivated his maize farm in March is not the popcorn producer who needs dried corn for optimum popping.
Rather, his customer could be that woman who prepares ‘banku’, ‘kenkey’, pap daily or the one who has a breakfast lounge that serves maize pudding every day.
Considering this scenario, if you are a farmer who has done proper forecast and is targeting high-end users of dried corn in Nigeria where power supply is erratic and could be inefficient in drying corn, you would rather go for the late-season option and cultivate your farm in August, having identified the customers and knowing when they usually raise demand for your product.
Therefore, for effective marketing of a product, producers and/or marketers must have identified the answers to the consumers’ “how”, “where” and “when”. They must have tailored their marketing strategies to suit these questions.
Also, for market intelligence and consumer analysis, producers can engage marketing experts such as Farm Republic to foster the planning of smart production and high-income marketing strategies.