Marketing is the ultimate reason farmers go commercial. They want to produce food on the farm, sell it through proper marketing and make a profit.
Therefore, a farmer must take an important decision on the farm, in as far as marketing is concerned. These include;
- Produce food for local customers: This means that a farmer may produce with his neighbours in mind as the first customers.
To do this, a farmer should start with a simple list of all the products and services that are mostly consumed locally. Why should a farmer grow aloe vera, when his neighbours and the general local market want pineapples?
- Identify your farm market: This is important because it helps you understand the market dynamics and the needs of your customers. You can do this by visiting markets and talking to consumers.
- Know potential competitors: This helps you gauge their strengths and weaknesses, which helps you find your level in the market. For example, look at their branding and customer care. Find out if they produce off season. If so, do the same.
- Tailor your marketing message to your farm products: If you are producing organically (no fertilisers) ensure this message is loud and clear.
- Timing: Try to produce at a time when other farmers are not doing so. This will lower competition and give you a good profit. If you are selling directly to a market, make sure that you find out at what time consumers buy produce most.