Key Factors Underlying Successful Marketing for Small Farmers

Topic :

The short brief notes that the key factors underlying successful marketing for small farmers are:

  • institutions
  • behaviour
  • communication
  • commercial services

The brief discusses each of these factors in turn, using the experience of small farmers in East Africa. It argues that the key institutions to develop are savings and loans societies, warehouse receipt systems, higher level associations for small holders, and district core groups of market service providers.

The key behaviour concerns those who profit by exploitation and hiding information. If they do not change their behaviour they will go out of business. Cooperation that replaces cheating along the market chain is the behaviour that needs to be promoted. For example, the paper explains that giving a fair price to producers allows key players in the chain to cut costs and add value in ways that lead to win-win situations for all.

The key to communication is how to make the expansion of one-to-many communication possible by linking mobile phones, radio and internet. The brief explains that time-sensitive micromanagement to make sure that produce is at the right place at the right time in the right quantities to be picked up by the right trucks, etc., depends on fast and reliable communications that encompasses village groups and large national trading companies.

Finally, rather than public ‘telecenters’ the brief proposes commercial rural knowledge management services extending the access of ICT’s to small farmers.

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