11 Agricultural Marketing Channels

Alt: = "fruits hanging on the tree"

Table of content

  • Introduction
  • Agricultural market
  • Agricultural marketing
  • Agricultural marketing channels

Farm or agricultural market is any medium that brings together buyers and sellers of agricultural products for exchange of goods for money. It might be a location or platform. The farm market (in the modern time) can be virtual agreement between buyers and sellers with the support of information communication technologies through the use of mobile phone, computer, internet etc.

Agricultural marketing is an aspect of marketing which involves taking farm produce and other agricultural allied products to consumers for exchange of money. Marketing is an integral part of agriculture. Agricultural marketing is characterized with packaging, preservation, advertising, distribution and sale of agricultural products. Agricultural marketing is very delicate as farm produce are very prone to tissue decomposition and microbial spoilage because they begin to depreciate as soon as they are harvested — they have limited shelf life. 

Bellow are the top 11 agricultural marketing channels:

1. Farm Gate

Wholesalers and distributors come on the farm or to the farm gate and buy farm produce directly from farmers. They then arrange transport to processors, wholesale, outlets, warehouses, retail outlets or directly to supermarket. Such buyers are said to be off takers.

2. Wholesale Markets

Wholesale markets are centres for the sale of farm produce in bulk

3. Retail Markets

These markets spread throughout the country in major population centres. Produce at these markets are for direct sales to consumers. In such markets, the distributors who buy from farmers in bulk or those who buy in the wholesale markets resell the farm produce. The farmers can as well sell directly to the consumers.

4. Distributors

The rapid expansion of both international and local fast food outlets has created the need for bulk supplies of fresh produce. Distributors provide this service through pitches from various suppliers. They collect, store, wash, grade, package and transport to individual outlets.

5. Farmers' Markets

These markets are for farmers to sell their produce directly to the public. Generally, smaller farmers, and those with specialized produce operate in these markets.

6. Group marketing

This is a situation where the farmers bring their produce together and sell them in bulk. This arrangement allows for the bulking of produce, grading, branding and packaging. Using this approach allows producers to pursue multiple marketing channels. It gives them collective bargaining power. It prevents wastes on the side of smaller producers who may not be able to use most of the other marketing channels. It also reduces the costs of marketing.

7. Roadside Outlets

There is a proliferation of these outlets located on the major routes in the developing countries like India, Nigeria. The producers have the responsibility to transport to these outlets. The quantities sold are usually small and prices received fluctuate.

8. Supermarkets

Supermarkets provide a one-stop facility for the consumers to get all their food items inclusive of fresh produce. Most supermarkets in the country sell fresh produce. The produce is washed, graded and packaged for easy purchase by the consumers. These outlets provide an opportunity for marketing of produce at a premium prices. What is required is consistency in supply, quality and quantities.

9. Hotels, Restaurants, Others

These outlets also provide another marketing point for farm produce. They provide an assured market. They prefer to purchase from single supplier who can provide all of their needs at a negotiated prices that can be more favourable to the farmer.

10. Contract Marketing

With contract marketing, the producers sell to  buyers under a contract arrangement. Agreements may be formal (written) or informal (oral).The contract arrangement usually cover the quality requirements of the buyer as well as the price, quantity, timing, method of delivery and packaging.

11. Internet Marketing

Globalization has improved agricultural marketing in recent times, thanks to information technology. With internet you can reach many customers in different locations (both local and international) at the same time from anywhere. This type of marketing can be focused on customers who require higher quality products delivered to them. They are willing to pay premium prices. Internet marketing is gradually taking over the physical and traditional marketing channels. The outbreak of Covid-19 has brought to limelight the potentials of internet marketing as regards to agricultural and food marketing, and this has become a new normal. Farmers should therefore conform with this new normal and harness the opportunities it creates in farm produce marketing.

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