Marketing for Small-Scale Producers

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Marketing is defined by this guide as all of the activities that can contribute to selling a product for a better price. This Agrodok book is the first one in a series on social-economic topics and is intended for small-scale producers. As this book suggests, marketing a product is very different from producing it. Each activity requires specific knowledge and insight. Someone who is a good producer may not necessarily be a good seller. A producer who wants to market his or her product will have to negotiate with traders or consumers. He or she will have to know about supply, demand and pricing.

In showing how small scale producers can undertake marketing activities, this book begins by setting out how a price is determined and what factors can influence the process. Building on from this, the book then discusses marketing itself and considers it a way to take advantage of, or even influence, supply and demand and ultimately to increase the profit earned from a product.

The choice of product is then discussed. In doing so, the discussion is based around answering the following questions – what possibilities and limitations are there within the household to produce a product, what possibilities are there in the market to sell a product, where is the most favourable market, and how much competition is there in the market? The book then sets out and discusses a number of different ways a product can be sold; in each case both the advantages and disadvantages are highlighted, and ultimately the book suggests that the entrepreneur has to choose the system that fits his or her situation best. The book also includes a section on how to produce successfully for the market, stressing that the production process itself and product quality are also very important, as well as a section on financing issues.

The final two chapters consider the need for cooperation and organisation, and forms of cooperation, respectively. In light of unequal power balance within a market place, the first of these chapters is focused around a discussion of the advantage of cooperation. The latter chapter focuses on two different forms of cooperation – the cooperative and the group.

This book is comprehensive but also clearly set out with a useful range of topics that fall under each main section noted above.

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