Farming is a serious business, After setting up your farm and managing it well. Now the other important aspect is marketing.
Let’s look at a normal business scenario, imagine you start a business of producing soap, do you just produce your soap and keep it in your mini factory. Not really You must devise means of marketing your soap and ensuring people buy it.
Marketing is the core of every business; otherwise there would be no business without markets. For Every business you see and admire, these guys have invested their time and money in marketing.
Marketing is the process of promoting your products and getting to sell them. Your potential buyers are out there not aware that you have what they need, so its only through marketing that they can get to know and actually buy
Marketing Principles In Farming
1. Market Research
As earlier said, before you start your farming business, make sure you have a marketing plan which shows your target market, how you will get to them and other strategies to sell your products.
Very important to note is that you should only go for a project that you will easily market. Don’t produce chilli that even your neighbors don’t eat.
There are crops that need a specific market like chilli, hot pepper, ginger, Chinese cabbage, broccoli and those that have an open market like tomatoes and onions, things that almost everyone consumes.
So be careful for what crop or project you chose to do. Is it marketable?
2. Target Market
From day one you must specify your target customers. Who do you plan to sell your products to?
Don’t just produce for anyone who will come your way, its not reliable. Don’t wait to first harvest and start looking for market.
Look for the market, not the market to look for you.
Some of the target markets could be:
- Local markets
- Restaurants and hotels
- Private homes and companies
- Friends and neighbors
- Processing factories
This helps you to devise means of getting your products to them and set the right strategies of how to achieve this goal.
3. Create Awareness
After understanding your target market, now its time to start the battle of marketing. Awareness is the greatest tool of marketing.
You must make sure that your target market knows about your products, let them know and feel your existence.
Tell everyone about what you do and what you grow.
- Work mates
- Facebook and whatsapp followers
- People you meet at workshops and meetings
- Move to restaurants and hotels
You must put aside your fear and face the market. I don’t want to promise you like how other people have come up to do that I will get you market. This is your business and you must own it ,you must carry the burden till the destination.
We have given a lot of chance to middlemen to cheat us just because we can’t market our products, we prefer to stay in our gardens and wait for these guys to come with their trucks and give us a very small pay.
I know this might not favor everyone but let’s all try to market our products
Imagine you grew your watermelons, and this middle man comes giving you 500shs per fruit, they don’t know how much money and time you put in to raise those fruits for the last 3
They bring them to the market and sell them at 3000shs each, they make a profit of more that 1500shs, moreover it’s you who bought the seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and put in all your endless efforts and you are just paid 500shs.
This person who did nothing to raising this fruits is given 1500shs.
Don’t feel shy about what you do, some people amuse me, you find she’s producing pumpkins but even the closest neighbor doesn’t know, even the husband doesn’t know. How do you expect to get market if you are not proud f what you do?
Be known for what you do, this will position you to opportunities of market. They should start calling you what you do like Mr Pumpkin, Mrs Cabbage and others. I know you will laugh at this statement but try it you will thank me later.
Put your business on your social media platforms like facebook and whatsapp, it should be on your profile picture and statuses.
4. Value Addition
Now you are ready to sell your products to the buyers. You can choose to add value to your farm products. For example if you are growing fruits, you can start making juice out of them
You can also start drying them for mainly export. Do you know you can make over 5 products from pumpkins? You can as well pack them in special packages and deliver to your customers.
Value addition doesn’t necessarily mean processing or having a factory, but even mere cleaning and packing your products is already value addition.
Selling value added products gives you a better pay. Imagine a kilo of maize grains is 600shs from farmers but a kilo of posho is 2500shs.
Farming like any other business needs to be marketed to actually make money out of it. lets wake up from our comfort zones and market our farm products.
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