Agricultural Marketing – What is it?

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This short leaflet aims to serve as an introductory guide to successfully marketing new products. It was prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives in Zambia, with the support of FAO and IFAD, for use by extension officers. Despite being specifically produced for Zambia, it offers some very useful guidance applicable to many other countries. It provides a general description of what farmers groups need to know and do in order to supply products to potential markets.

The leaflet notes that before farmers grow a crop, they need to know what customers want to buy. In addition, it stresses that all activities in the marketing chain must be done profitably. Hence, the definition of marketing adopted here, builds on these two points:

The series of activities involved in finding out what customers want and moving those products profitably from the point of production to the point of consumption.

In order to successfully and profitably market new products that consumers want, the booklet sets out and describes a series of 7 key steps to be followed, including a range of questions within each step that should be answered. The steps are:

  1. Identify buyers and their needs
  2. Decide on marketing channels to be used
  3. Plan production to meet their needs
  4. Plan to harvest, process, grade, package and store
  5. Identify arrangements for transport and delivery of the products
  6. Calculate costs
  7. Calculate profit!

This introductory leaflet is the first of a series. Each of the following leaflets deals with a particular crop or type of livestock. Two examples have been provided as downloadable documents below. The product specific leaflets show how the steps described in the introductory leaflet can be applied to that commodity.

Document Information

Document Type Document
Author Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Republic of Zambia
Year of Publication 2004
Publisher Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Zambia
Number of Pages 12 pp.
Edition Agricultural Marketing
Region / Country Global, Africa, Eastern and Central Africa, Northern Africa, Southern Africa, Western Africa / Zambia
Primary Language English (en)
Keywords Marketing, Agribusiness, Planning, Extension
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