On agricultural marketing

The importance of marketing in agricultural production has, again, been stressed. It is key to state that marketing of agricultural products requires the deployment of the ‘Four Ps’ of marketing, which are price, place, product and promotion.

This was disclosed by a major marketer of agricultural products, Mrs. Funmilayo Ayanbadejo while featuring on the agriculture-centered programme, Our Farmer on the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Ogun State radio station, FUNAAB Radio 89.5FM. Mrs. Ayanbadejo, an Agricultural Officer II at the Directorate of University Farms (DUFARMS) of FUNAAB, where she is the Head of the Agro Mart Unit. Expatiating on the ‘Four Ps’ of agricultural products marketing, she said the products must be made available at a convenient place to buyers, at attractive and competitive prices, and necessary promotional platforms must be deployed to reach the consumers to provoke action-buying.
Mrs. Ayanbadejo said apart from using conventional and online platforms, a marketer of agricultural products could also take the products to the doorsteps of targeted consumers. She said, “Since many of the agricultural products are perishable, a marketer must quickly deploy them to relevant markets and consumers. For example, products like yam, pineapple, eggs, and other vegetable fruits are perishable”. Mrs. Ayanbadejo noted that in modern days, irrigation was being deployed in agriculture, which enables farmers to plant and harvest throughout the year. She stressed the need for the products to be well-stored and preserved in order to retain their freshness and quality, adding that packaging and branding bring added value to agricultural products by standing them out among competitors. In the same vein, a broiler farmer has advised those wishing to go into broiler chickens production or farming must have a robust knowledge of the markets available to sell the birds when fully matured.

The broiler farmer, Mrs. Olufikayo Obadimu, a Senior Agricultural Officer, Broiler Unit of FUNAAB gave this vital information, saying apart from the availability of markets, a broiler farmer, after taking the delivery of broiler chicks from a reputable farm, should provide conducive pens for their housing, clean water, and administer antibiotics and multivitamins. Mrs. Obadimu also explained that broilers needed to be vaccinated against diseases such as Coccidiosis, Gumboro, and Newcastle, among others. She said, “A broiler farmer should be good in the area of identifying markets to sell these poultry birds. At most, between eight and 12 weeks, the broilers are ready and matured for sale. If a broiler farmer fails to identify these markets, it means the chickens would be eating, and this means more expenses on feed. At the end, such farmers might not be able to realise returns on investment”.

Talking about the challenges facing broiler farmers, Mrs. Obadimu listed exorbitant price of feed, Avian flu disease, high price of wood shavings used for the beddings of the broilers, search for markets, and illegal importation of frozen poultry products, among others. She called on the Federal Government to discourage illegal importation of frozen poultry products, and make soft loans available to young graduate farmers, as Mrs. Obadimu commended the University Management for its support. 

Meanwhile, any farmer, who intends to make maximum profit from the cultivation of leafy vegetables, should have his or her farms close to markets in order to sell them ‘fresh as they come from the farms’. A vegetable farmer and a Chief Agricultural Officer at DUFARMS, Mr. Olanrewaju Bello stated this, noting that since leafy vegetables were perishable, a vegetable farmer should ensure that he or she reaches the market early with their produce, because not many buyers would purchase vegetables that are withered and had lost nutrients. 

On the site location of vegetable farms, he said compulsorily beds must be made for the vegetables, adding that the site locations should be close to water sources. He added, “Vegetables are best planted on a bed and it should not be on a sloppy landscape. And the site location of the vegetable farm should be close to a water source because vegetables need constant water for effective growth. It could be channelled through boreholes, river banks, perennial streams, or rivers”. Mr. Bello equally advised prospective farmers to ensure they get their seeds from reputable companies that sell seeds so as to get maximum yield from their farms, noting that within 21 days, vegetables would have reached their maturity stage and could be produced all-year round.

He, however, recommended good management procedure for farms in terms of timely weeding and application of proper insecticide to keep insects away bearing in mind that “Vegetable and insects are almost inseparable”. From the points raised above by experienced farmers, for a successful agricultural marketing to take place, there should be effective deployment of the ‘Four Ps’ of marketing of price, place, product and promotion; availability of products at a convenient place to buyers at attractive and competitive prices; necessary promotional platforms must be deployed to reach consumers to provoke action-buying; robust knowledge of available markets to sell such products; having farms close to markets for effective selling activities; and by engaging in good management procedures.