The agricultural industry refers to all of the activities and sectors involved in the production, processing, and distribution of agricultural products. This includes everything from farming and ranching to food processing and marketing.
Marketing in the agricultural industry involves promoting and selling agricultural products to consumers, businesses, and other organizations.
This can include activities such as branding, advertising, pricing, and distribution. Marketing is an important aspect of the agricultural industry because it helps to connect farmers and other producers with buyers and helps to ensure that products are available to meet the demand of consumers.
Agricultural marketing can take many forms, including direct marketing, in which farmers sell their products directly to consumers, and indirect marketing, in which farmers sell their products to intermediaries, such as wholesalers or processors, who then sell them to consumers. Marketing channels in the agricultural industry can vary depending on the type of product being sold and the market in which it is being sold.
In addition to marketing, the agricultural industry also includes a range of other activities and sectors, such as:
- Farming: Farming refers to the production of crops and livestock for food, feed, and other products. This can include activities such as crop cultivation, animal husbandry, and dairy production.
- Ranching: Ranching involves the raising of livestock, such as cattle, sheep, and goats, for meat, milk, and other products.
- Food processing: Food processing involves the transformation of raw agricultural products into finished food products, such as cereals, beverages, and convenience foods.
- Agricultural research and development: Agricultural research and development involves the investigation and development of new technologies, techniques, and practices that can improve crop and livestock production and address challenges such as pests, diseases, and climate change.
- Agricultural financing: Agricultural financing refers to the provision of financial resources, such as loans, grants, and insurance, to support the growth and development of the agricultural sector.
Marketing Agriculture – Importance
- Increase in marketable surplus – India presently has a plenty of agricultural products. The availability of high-quality seeds and other technical advances have assisted in raising output and productivity, leading in a rise in the excess of most agricommodities that may be sold.
- Market demand for horticulture crops – Indian agriculture has shifted toward higher-value horticultural crops as a result of market demand.
- Due to the nature of horticultural crops being large and perishable, they must be treated with care along the food supply chain until they reach the end consumer.
- Price discovery and price signals – Agricultural marketing is concerned with price discovery at various marketing stages and the transmission of price signals in the marketing chain, particularly from consumers to farmers.
- Shift emphasis to market-driven production – Agricultural prospects have increased as a result of economic growth, urbanisation, free-trade legislation, and consumer knowledge of safe and high-quality food.
- Feeding the urban population – As a result of economic progress, urbanisation has expanded substantially, necessitating the feeding of an increasing number of urban residents by rural residents.
- This will need not just production, but also an efficient marketing infrastructure to assist the efficient transport of agricultural products from the site of production to the point of consumption.
- Making smallholdings a viable alternative – Small and marginal farmers play a crucial role in supplying the food demands of a rising, increasingly affluent, and urban population.
- Adopting a market-oriented strategy can significantly boost the income potential of these smallholders.
- Open and integrated marketing system – The Government of India’s (GoI) Doubling Farmers’ Income (DFI) report emphasises the development of an open and integrated marketing system by transforming Rural Periodic Markets (RPMs) into Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs) to serve as collection and distribution centres in rural areas, and by integrating markets with knowledge centres and other services such as warehouse/cold storage and banks.
India’s Agricultural Marketing Requires Reforms
- For India’s rural agriculture sector to promote development, employment, and economic success, an organised system and well-functioning marketplaces are required.
- To give the marketing system vitality and efficiency, substantial investments are necessary for the building of post-harvest and cold-chain facilities closer to the farmers’ fields.
- This type of investment necessitates participation from the private sector, necessitating the appropriate legal and legislative framework.
- In addition, enabling legislation must be enacted to encourage the purchase of agricultural products directly from farmers’ fields and to establish a strong link between farm production, the retail chain, and food processing enterprises.
- The Department of Agriculture and Cooperation has drafted model laws on agricultural marketing for use as a reference for state governments.
- The model law supports Public Private Partnerships (PPP) as well as the creation of private markets and yards, direct buying facilities, consumer and farmer marketplaces for direct sales in order to manage and expand India’s agricultural markets.
Reforms to Agricultural Marketing in India – eNAM
- The Nationwide Agriculture Market (NAM) is a pan-Indian electronic trading site that unifies the current APMC mandis into a national agricultural market.
- It was introduced in April of 2016.
- It is administered by the Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) of the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation, and Farmers’ Welfare.
- The NAM Portal provides a centralised location for all Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC)-related data and services.
- It presently links 1260 marketplaces from 22 states and 3 territories, and its list of accessible commodities includes staple food grains, vegetables, and fruits.
- To utilise the portal’s services, exporters and merchants must register with it first.
- This contains commodity arrivals and prices, buy and sell trade offers, and the ability to reply to trade offers, among other things.
Agricultural marketing plays a crucial role in the success of farmers in India. It involves all of the steps involved in getting agricultural products from the farm to the final consumer.
The price of agricultural products is influenced by factors such as demand and storage availability. In India, agriculture is a major contributor to the economy and employs a significant portion of the population.
Improving the efficiency of the marketing system for agricultural products would lead to lower prices for consumers, which would ultimately benefit the national economy.