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Efficient Agricultural Marketing for Farmers Prosperity
Dr. Banarsi Lal and Dr. Pawan Sharma4/21/2017 10:58:46 PM
India is an agricultural country and one third of its population depends on this sector directly or indirectly. Agriculture is the mainstay of the Indian economy since time immemorial. Quality food is the growing demand of the increasing population. Adequate production and its proper marketing has become a high priority global concern. The Indian agricultural system has made tremendous progress in the recent past. The increased agricultural production has made new challenges to the Indian agricultural marketing system. An efficient agricultural marketing system is the need of the era. Marketing has been described as the most important multiplier of agricultural development. Agricultural marketing plays crucial role in accelerating the pace of economic development of any nation. Its dynamic functions are of primary importance in both agricultural and economic development. Marketing is as critical to better performance in agriculture as farming. Market reforms need to be an integral part of any policy for agricultural development. The National Commission on Agriculture emphasized that produce must be satisfactorily marketed. Marketing involves a series of activities in moving the goods from the point of production to the point of consumption. It is a complex subject.
Agricultural marketing is the study of all the activities in the procurement of farm inputs by the farmers and the movement of agricultural products from the farms to the consumers. Agricultural marketing is a link between farm and non-farm sectors. All the persons associated in agricultural marketing are interested in having an efficient marketing system. An efficient marketing system is an effective agent of change and an important means of raising the income levels of farmers and satisfaction of the consumers. The movement of goods from producers to the consumers at the lowest possible cost, consistent with the provision of services desired by the consumers can be termed as efficient marketing. An efficient marketing system for farm products ensures an increase in the farm production gets transformed into an increase in the level of income thereby increasing the additional income. Consumers get the satisfaction when they get the goods at the least possible cost. An ideal marketing system aims at giving remunerative prices of produce to consumers, uninterrupted supply of goods to the consumers at reasonable prices. Agricultural marketing is important in economic development due to following facts:
Maintaining the pace of increased production through technological developments and assurance of remunerative prices to the farmers for their products to sustain the growth of non-agricultural sectors.
An efficient marketing system leads to the optimization of resources use and output management. Marketing system can effectively distribute the available stocks of modern inputs and thereby sustain a faster growth rate in agricultural production. An efficient marketing system ensures higher level of income to the farmers by reducing the number of middlemen, regulating marketing services and providing better prices for the products. An efficient marketing system widens the market for the product by taking them to remote corners of the country by having better transportation and communication facilities. An improved agricultural marketing system helps in the growth of agro-based industries, stimulates their production and brings overall development in the economy. Better marketing system helps in the adoption and spread of new technology among the farmers and farmers get more returns by selling produce. The additional returns got by the farmers can be invested in agricultural sector and this will help to disseminate the technology among the farmers. Employment can be created in the economy by developing different marketing activities. Marketing activities add value to the products and this helps to increase GNP and NNP of the country. By efficient marketing system better living standards can be provided to the people by the producers by making food available to the consumers at low prices. Creation of utilities in the products viz. place, time, form and possession. Utilities increase the price of the farm produce. All these facts indicate that an agricultural marketing system plays an immense role in the economic development of any nation.
More efficient the agricultural marketing system more would be the economic development of the nation.
An important landmark for improvement of agricultural marketing system in the Indian economy dates back to the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Agriculture, 1928 which pertained to regulation of marketing practices and establishment of regulated markets. Though agricultural marketing is estate subject, the Government of India has been playing a far-reaching interventionist role in terms of laying down general policy framework, framing of quality standards and providing technical and financial support to the states for creating infrastructure and administrative set-up. The Government interventions in agricultural marketing in India have taken of the following forms:
(a) Regulation of buying and selling practices by establishing regulated markets.
(b) Administration of prices at different levels of marketing.
(c)Promotion and creation of infrastructure and other facilities.
(d)Direct entry of government or cooperative societies as buyers and sellers in the market with a view to influencing the demand or supply of the products.
(e)Regulation of imports and exports of agricultural commodities with a view to influence the supply and demand.
All these measures introduced by the government improved the marketing system and helped the farmers in getting better prices. Agricultural marketing scenario has undergone a sea change in India over the last four decades especially after the onset of technological revolution in the country. There has been a rapid increase in the marketable and marketed surplus of different agricultural commodities. This has been on account of increase in agricultural production and also due to the increase in the marketed surplus-output ratio of commodities. Overtime the marketed-surplus-output ratio of agricultural commodities has increased. The farmers of the WTO members' countries are free to market their products in these countries and hence have increased competition. India is now an important member of WTO countries. As such the role of agricultural marketing in India has widened from the existing i.e. sell whatever is surplus on the remunerative prices to produce only those commodities which have good demand in domestic as well as in the international market and sell them in the form and at place where prices are high.
The marketing organizations should assist the producers in increasing the production of those goods which are in demand. For this the various marketing functions related to marketing of various products should be performed efficiently. Marketing organizations especially the regulated markets can help the farmers by taking new initiatives and extending the provision of credit facilities to the farmers. This will develop a loyalty among the producers-sellers towards the regulated markets. This facility will increase the freedom of producer-sellers to dispose of their produce profitably in the market.
There is a need to develop channels for supply of agricultural inputs to the farmers in the market. This can be done by allotting shops to the input suppliers in the market and developing adequate channels for movement of agricultural inputs along with arranging easy availability of seeds varieties demanded by the farmers. There should be transportation provision to carry the produce from production places to the consumption places. This can be done by operating transport system to help small farmers on cooperative basis.
Market extension service should be provided to the farmers to guide them about the enterprises and varieties to grow in the area based on market demand. Strengthening of market intelligence activities in the mandi to advise the farmers as and where to sell the produce. Study the profitability of enterprises, marketing costs, margins and price spread so as to guide the farmers. Strengthening of storage system in the market can be done by encouraging the private entrepreneurs to construct more number of godowns in the rural areas.
Involving Non Government Organisations (NGOs) and Self Help Groups (SHGs) actively in the marketing activities would help to make the marketing system friendlier. Patent system for varied plant estates produced in the country should be introduced to safeguard the farmers of the country.
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