According to National Commission on agriculture “Agricultural Marketing is a process which starts with a decision to produce a saleable farm commodity and it involves all aspects of market structure of system both functional and institutional, based on technical and economic considerations and include pre-harvest and post-harvest operations, assembling, grading, storage, transportation and distribution”
Agricultural Marketing can simply be defined as buying and selling of agricultural produce. It includes the following activities :
Earlier the farmers in India practiced agriculture on a subsistence basis and marketing of agricultural produce was limited to direct cash sales and barter transactions. But, now farmers in India are growing more of cash crops and not only traditional food grains. Agricultural marketing in modern days involve three important functions of Assembling (concentration), Processing (preparation for consumption) and Distribution.
Agricultural activities include – Horticulture, Sericulture, Dairy Products, Livestock, Fishing, Hunting, Pisciculture, Rearing of Pigs etc.
Objectives of Agriculture Marketing
→ Rotation of economic resources – Agricultural Marketing generates 52 % of employment in India.
→ Development of backward areas
→ Increase in productivity of economy
→ Help farmers sell their produce at a favourable time, place and price
→ To widen the product range.
→ To help in planning for successful operations leading to better quality of produce and customer Satisfaction.
→ To bring in good marketing practices which helps to cope up with environmental changes.
Scope for improvement
Agricultural marketing aims to provide best advantages and facilities to farmers. Farmers in India have also realized the importance of adopting new production and marketing techniques. Bust still there is a scope for improvement and it is necessary to focus on the following –
- Giving more importance to corporate institutions.
- Coordinating with procurement agencies.
- Including Market Studies and market intelligence.
- Improvement in storing and grading of products.
- Focus on improvement of prices.
- Providing training and education to farmers.
Current Changes in Agricultural Marketing
- Due to green revolution farmers are focusing more on non-food crops.
- Improvement in infrastructural facilities by the Government.
- There is a high increase in income and expectations of farmers.
- Farmers are adopting new techniques for more returns and higher standards of living.
Problems in Agricultural Marketing
→ Heavy village sales and consumption of agricultural produce due to the following reasons –
- Most farmers are indebted to landlords
- Farmers dislike city markets.
- Existence of many middle men.
→ Lack of reliable and up to date market information.
→ Absence of proper standardization and grading.
→ Inadequate transport and communication facilities.
→ Inadequate storage facilities.