In recent times, there has been an increase in activities in the agricultural sector, with young farms sprouting and more agribusiness minds with great innovations and ideas on how to maximize the potential of the agricultural industry.
These activities have not been able to bridge the gap between the farmers and those that have demands for such products.
Afrimash has provided a platform for farmers to get farm inputs needed to make agriculture convenient, but this has not answered the questions of farmers looking for a market to sell their farm outputs.
I would be taking us through the process of finding the right market for your farm output and also reaching the market demands
What Is Your Farm’s Market?
Knowing your farm’s market can help you reach your target and reduce the pressure on marketing your farm outputs. Do not have the “anyone who will buy” notion before or during production, it doesn’t give you a clear understanding of what to expect or how you are going to sell your farm output.
If your farm already has customers, think of your best ones. Who are they and how would you describe them? Do women or men buy more frequently from you? Are your customers young, middle-aged or retired? Do they belong to a certain ethnic group? Are your buyers at a certain income level? Are they living in a particular area or nationwide?
If you’re just starting out and don’t have customers yet, research on your potential competitors and their customer base. This will give you an idea of your farm’s market.
Set Your Farm Apart?
It’s important for any business to establish it’s unique selling proposition or USP.
The idea is not just to produce agricultural products, but what is different about what you are producing and the other services you render. This will help to distinguish your market and also send the right set of buyers to you.
Now that you’ve established what you’re selling, whom you’re selling it to and what makes it different, have a plan on how you are going to reach that unique market, the channels you would use to reach them. Farmers also need to know the challenges they might face in reaching their target market and how they plan to curb such challenges.
Get an Identity for Your Farm
Agriculture in Nigeria is evolving with the age. There are technologies and other techniques that farmers can take advantage of to reach their target market. Creating an identity for your farm is one technique that farmers can implement. An identity is what something is known by, and this can be achieved by:
- Getting a registered farm name
- Create a farm logo
- Get a tagline.
Having a website is a technological step you can take, which also leaves you with an advantage over other farms. Customers get to place orders and make a purchase when you are present or not.
Types of Farm’s Markets
Based on different sizes and patterns, there are three basic types of farms which are;
- Primary or Local Markets:
The primary market is the most common type of farm market in Nigeria, usually held once or twice a week in the neighbourhood of a group of villages. Most of the farmers sell their farm products in these markets, which are organized by village heads who charge some rent from shopkeepers for the space occupied. Haggling and bargaining is a common feature of these markets.
- Secondary Markets:
These are also known as wholesale or assembling and are permanent in nature. Business in this market is transacted regularly throughout the year. The produce is handled usually in large quantities and specialized operators become necessary for the performance of different services. The markets provide facilities of storage, handling and banking services and are well-served by roads and railways. A number of middlemen operate in these markets. Here, farmers are offered better shelter, greater protection and facility of year-round selling.
- Terminal Markets:
These markets perform the function of carrying goods to consumers, final buyers or to places of processing. Such markets are to be found in big cities or at ports. The area of their operation extends over a state.
Other types of farm market are;
Fairs: held annually and are organized by local bodies or private agencies.
Co-Operative Marketing: agricultural produce is carried directly to the consumers thus eliminating a large army of middlemen and intermediaries.
State Trading: State agencies set up their specific centres in and around villages at harvest time to procure produce from farmers to government at fixed prices.