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Rural marketing facilitate flow of goods and service from rural producers to urban consumers at possible time with reasonable prices, and agriculture inputs/ consumer goods from urban to rural. Marketing as a function has started much earlier when civilization started but not recognized as marketing. All economy goods are marketed in terms of goods and services (Barter system). Now money is being practiced as a good exchanging medium. The market may be a street, or a small town/ metropolitan city, Developments in infrastructure, transport, and communication facilities has increased the scope of the rural market.
The difference between rural and urban markets on the basis of various socio - economic factors, most dominant among them being the source of income, the frequency of receipt of income, the seasonal nature of income and consumption. Rural markets are small, non- contiguous settlement units of village relatively low infrastructure facilitates, low density of population, their life styles also being different. Rural consumers are mostly farmers whose income receipts are dependent on the vagaries of nature.
Rural population has been increased about 74% of the total population; the demand for products and services has increased a lot in rural areas. Green revolution in the North and white revolution in the West has brought about a new prosperity in the lives of rural people. Government emphasis on rural development has caused significant changes in the rural scenario. Moreover, the special attention given for infrastructure development through the successive Five-year plans has improved the buying and consumption pattern of rural people.
The Rural Agro - Products:
The rural agro-products are
* Fruits & Vegetables
Rural sale products
* Milk & poultry products
* Handicrafts and Hand loom products
* Tribal village products like tamarind, Lac, soapnut etc
The peculiar characteristics of agricultural produce are:
* Wide varietal differences
* Dispersed production
* Processing needs for consumption
Problems in Rural Marketing
The rural market offers a vast untapped potential. It is not that easy to operate in rural market because of several problems and also it is a time consuming affair and it requires considerable investments in terms of evolving appropriate strategies with a view to tackle the problems.
* Underdeveloped people and underdeveloped markets
* Lack of proper physical communication facilities
* Inadequate Media coverage for rural communication
* Multi language and Dialects
* Market organization & staff
Underdeveloped people and underdeveloped markets
The agricultural technology has tried to develop the people and market in rural areas. Unfortunately, the impact of the technology is not felt uniformly through out the country. Some districts in Punjab, Haryana or Western Uttar Pradesh where rural consumer is somewhat comparable to his urban counterpart, there are large areas and groups of people who have remained beyond the technological breakthrough. In addition, the farmers with small agricultural land holdings have also been unable to take advantage of the new technology.
Lack of proper physical communication facilities
Nearly 50 percent of the villages in the country do not have all weather roads. Physical communication to these villages is highly expensive. Even today, most villages in eastern part of the country are inaccessible during monsoon season.
Inadequate Media coverage for rural communication
A large number of rural families own radios and television sets there are also community radio and T.V sets. These have been used to diffuse agricultural technology to rural areas. However the coverage relating to marketing is inadequate using this aid of Marketing.
Multi language and Dialects
The number of languages and dialects vary from state to state region to region This type of distribution of population warrants appropriate strategies to decide the extent of coverage of rural market.
OTHER FACTORS INFLUENCING MARKETING
Natural calamities and Market conditions (demand, supply and price). Pests and diseases, Drought or too much rains, Primitive methods of cultivation, lack of proper storage facilities which exposes grain to rain and rats, Grading, Transport, Market Intelligence (up to date market prices to villagers), Long chain of middlemen (Large no. of intermediaries between cultivator and consumer, wholesalers and retailers, Fundamental practices (Market Dealers and Commission Agents get good part of sale of receipts).
MAJOR LOSERS IN AGRICULTURAL MARKETING
Small and marginal farmers , 75% villagers are illiterates or semiliterate, they facing difficulties like proper paper procedures for getting loans and insurance. The farmers facing high interest rates for their credits (Local money lending system). Most of the credit needed for agricultural inputs like seeds, pesticides, and fertilizers.
THE MAJOR WEAKNESS AND CHALLENGES IN THIS SECTOR
* Traditional mind not to react new ideas.
* Agricultural income mostly invested in gold ornaments and weddings.
* Low rural literature.
* Not persuading new thinking and improved products
EMERGING TRENDS IN MARKETS
ON LINE RURAL MARKET (INTERNET, NICNET):
Rural people can use the two-way communication through on - line service for crop information, purchases of Agri-inputs, consumer durable and sale of rural produce online at reasonable price. Farm information online marketing easily accessible in rural areas because of spread of telecommunication facilities all over India. Agricultural information can get through the Internet if each village have small information office
AGRO- PROCESSING INDUSTRY
India is the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world with an annual production of more than 110 million tonnes of fruit and vegetable only 1.3 percent of the output is processed by the organised sector commercially, the reason higher consumption in fresh form. However, as the packaging, transportation and processing capacities increase, the market for processed fruits and vegetables is projected to grow at the rate of about 20 % per annum. 100 % export oriented units (EOU) and Joint venture units required improving the processing industry.
There is a need to promote direct agricultural marketing model through retail outlets of farmer's co-operatives in urban areas. The direct link between producers and consumers would work in two ways: one, by enabling farmers to take advantage of the high price and secondly, by putting downward pressure on the retail prices.
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN TAMILNADU
Many remote villages now connected to main roads and link roads with the help of innovative technique of grass root development by the people for the people of the people. "Uzhavar sandhai" the another development of rural farmers reducing middle men and also cost to the benefit of urban society.
The Innovative -" Uzhavar sandhai"
The recent changes in agricultural produce sale by farmers in Uzhavar sandhai leads to direct selling vegetables and other commodities to urban needs. Government of Tamilnadu started Uzhavar sandhai all over the state for the purpose of direct selling their produce to urban needs, not only selling of rural produce but also exchange of their ideas each others.
Procurement Prices / Support Prices
These prices are more than minimum prices, which facilitates government bulky procurement for Public Distribution System and maintains buffer stock levels.
Farmer has little control over prices, which are determined by the broad factors of, supply and demand market at large.
SUGGESTIONS FOR SOUND AGRICULTURAL MARKETING IN INDIA
* Suitable structure of support prices for various farm commodities adjusted from time to time.
* Adequate arrangement of agricultural produce on support price if the price falls below the level.
* Regulated infrastructure of markets and warehouses, which ensure fair prices
* Rural roads must be compliment and coordinate with railways, nearest waterways (port), airports if possible.
* The efficient marketing is predominantly influenced by efficient distribution system it means products such ultimate consumer in the quickest time possible at minimum cost.
* The development of communication systems appropriate to rural market may cost up to six times as much as reaching an urban market through established media, need rural communication facilities.
* The state marketing board or federation or market committees also the producers, traders and sellers have necessarily to be consulted as they have the principle interest towards it s use.
* The arrivals of various products such as
Â Â Food grains
Â Â Vegetables
Â Â Dairy products
Â Â Flowers etc. need speedy transport.
* Public weighing machines one in each rural market to ensure correct weightment both for farm and non-farm arrivals. Storage godowns and an office also required.
* For storage facilities the government should not depend on private agencies to store food grains (National commission on Agriculture recommended).
* Rural markets need more number of godowns and ancillary platforms for packaging places, market office cum information cell, bank and post office.
* Rural marketing is the nerve center of a rural economy, rural markets are the channels for the movements of goods and services as well as to promote cultural integration.
* Agricultural technology must reach all over the country, irrespective of size of land holding.
* Improve physical communication facility to nook and corner of the country.
* Land reforms need effectively implemented, because the land is basic asset of rural people.
* Rural communication must be in regional language and dialects.
* The existing marketing staff must be increased and adequate training must be given.
* Extending of financial support for modernization of the agro-processing units is also needed.
* Processing units should utilise fully capacity.
* There is need to find out markets for agro-processed products within and out side of the country.
* The proper packaging technology must be improved.
Considering the emerging issues and challenges, government support is necessary for the development of marketing of agricultural produce. The government may adjust suitable budget allocations to rural infrastructure plans, and proper supervision for effective plan implementation. The core areas like transport, communication, roads, credit institutions, crop insurance for better utilization of land and water at appropriate level. The rural people and markets will definitely develop rural income and reduce poverty, on the whole countries economy will boost at an expected level. MANAGE an extension management institution may provide extension services to rural people in crop information, price information, insurance and credit information by using various media. MANAGE may recommend / advice to central and state governments on suitable infrastructure development, current problems in rural markets and problem solving techniques.