Horticulture marketing: Main role in marketing is to improve the understanding of your farmers about marketing and how they can become more commercial and profitable by producing crops that are a demand by the market. Most farmers are naturally more conservative and will be reluctant to go into new enterprises because it involves risk. New crops or the introduction of new technologies or production techniques should, therefore, initially be undertaken on a small-scale trial basis.
Growers need advice on which they grow or what market opportunities they can target. While the final decision must always be that of the farmers, you should be able to help them plan to their production. Although production issues, such as….
- Labour availabilities.
- Crop rotation.
- Innovative technologies cost.
- Hybrid seed’s cost.
- Biotic and Abiotic factors.
Have to be taken into account, the key factors affecting production decisions is that production must be market-oriented. This means producing products for which there is a demand and which farmers can grow profitably.
Crop selection for the horticulture market:
Crop selection should be based on the likely net returns of the major alternative agricultural enterprises. Market research should also have shown which varieties are favoured and the best time to supply them. These findings need to be converted into practical recommendations for farmers covering such issues as:
- Varieties favoured by the market.
- Sowing dates e.g. (whether to extend the period of supply or aim for a particularly high priced period)
- Other techniques to extend production into high priced periods, such as early or late varieties.
- Techniques to improve quality, such as optimum fertilization, crop rotation, pruning, irrigation and weather protection.
|Crop A||Crop B||Crop C|
|Expected sale from 1 ha= 3000||Sale from 1 ha= 2000||Sale from 1 ha= 4000|
|Production= 1000||Production= 500||Production= 2000|
|Marketing= 1000||Marketing= 500||Marketing= 1500|
|Net return= 1000||Net return= 1000||Net return= 500|
|Selection: yes||Selection: yes||Selection: No|
Above table set the summary of the comparative cost and return of three different crops. In this way, we select crop for horticulture marketing. Farmers should be aware of different gross returns (the value of sales) and net returns (the value of sales after deduction of cost). They must consider likely net returns when planning what to produce.
Selection of range of horticultural crops:
It is advisable for farmers to achieve a balance between growing a wide range of crops and concentrating on those products where they have the most advantage. Producing a range of crops reduces the impact of a possible production or market failure for one crop.
If farmers grow only potatoes and their crops are affected by potato blight, they will earn nothing. However, if they grow two or three crops, and have successful harvests, they will be less affected by the potato blight.
Farmers are often tempted to make an investment that is expensive but does not improve significantly the financial viability of their farm.
Investment improves yield stability and hence reduce the risks include:
- Those that protect against pests and disease, such as sprays pesticides.
- Irrigation and fertilization techniques that reduce weather risks.
Such investment is particularly important in horticulture because when low yields are as a result of poor weather or pests, prices rise significantly. The growers whose yields less affected makes the most profit.
The investment that improves prices include:
- Technologies or off-season production, such as greenhouse production.
- Investment directly made in marketing, such as grading facilities.
- Investments that improve the quality of the produce.
An investment that increases yield include:
- Irrigation equipment and techniques.
- Scientific fertilizers usage.
- High-quality planting materials.
The supply of inputs can have a direct effect on profitably. Horticulture Planting material is particularly important. Consumers have strong preferences for particular varieties, colour, shape, taste etc…pest and disease damage will seriously reduce a crop’s price and its potential shelf life. Sometimes these problems can be solved by the correct crop protection practices.
Finance and credit for marketing:
Critical production containers are often a shortage of working capital and funds for investment purposes. Potential sources of funds, apart from the farmers own resources, can be divided into i.e. formal and informal….
1. Formal sources.
These are mainly banks and other types of financial institutions such as credit unions, savings and credit cooperatives and various types of microfinance organization. They often offer different types of loan products and normally apply-market based interest rates. Financial institutions have different rules as to have what loan purposes they can cover.
2: Informal sources.
In many countries, the availability of formal funds from financial institutions is very limited, and then farmers often depend upon informal resources. Sources of informal credit include moneylenders, family members, friends, traders, and input suppliers. Informal loans are often made on the base of close family links or mutual trust and are free of time-consuming bureaucracy. Loans by traders are recovered simply by deducting the money advanced from the value of the sales.
Horticulture market analysis:
World horticulture market is worth more than two hundred billion and growing at a rate of 10%. Fruits, vegetables and flowers from the major bulk of export and import market. The main factors granting this horticulture market growth is the increase in demand for food. The global greenhouse horticulture market has also been observing the growth in research and development in this field.
Problems of horticulture market:
- Lack of organization among farmers.
- Forced sales.
- Lack of financial assistance.
- Weak bargaining power.
- Lack of infrastructure development.
- Presence of intermediaries.
Suggestion for better horticulture marketing strategy:
The study has proved that horticultural production is favourable in India in general and in Manipur. In order to have a high rate marketing strategy, a Horticulturist should have the following thing in mind….
- Supply of produce.
- Transport facilities.
- Changing the volume of production.
- Seasonal supply.
- Market current situation and information.
- The current price of the product in different markets.