Agricultural Marketing – Meaning & Outlines
Meaning of agriculture – agriculture per se refers to the cultivation of the soil. In practice, however, it means more than soil cultivation. It involves the production, processing and distribution of products from crops, livestock, fishery, wildlife and forestry. The whole idea of agriculture started from the time early man discovered that the seeds he disposed unconsciously later germinated and grew to maturity. It is from this stage that agriculture moved to the commercialization stage through the subsistence level. This goes along the same line of the transformation from barter economy into the monetised economy.
Agricultural marketing provides employment, creates and makes available goods and services which have helped in the delivery of a standard of living for Nigerians. It helps in periods of scarcity by reducing wastage and increasing efficiency level. Agricultural marketing can help the government in the efficiency level, utilization of their resources and in the formulation and implementation of their policies, which most times do not take the interest of the populace into consideration. It helps businesses in the utilization of their scarce resources and individuals in making the right choice of products, services or ideas.
Agricultural marketing makes for an efficient and effective public service or government, by way of providing goods and services which are very critical in economic development. With the application of marketing research the public service can discover what is needed and by which sector of the public service and how best to satisfy such efficiency. Foreign investments are also attracted. Government programmes and policies and channelling the right product to the right people makes for economic development.
Agricultural marketing, by promoting mass production, has enormous potentials for job creation, full employment and other desirable benefits, such as savings or capital formation and investment, which all culminate in economic development. With Agricultural marketing, an economy will not stagnate, competition is encouraged, which is healthy for development. Agricultural marketing also improves the social standard of consumers by converting latent purchasing power into effective demand. Income to small producers are also increased.
Agricultural Marketing – Agricultural Production In Nigeria
Agriculture in Nigeria is labour intensive and hence requires much human muscle all resulting from lack of imported machine and equipment. This has however improved gradually. Early agriculture was extensive because of surplus land. But as population exploded it becomes intensive. This was from land rotation to crop rotation.
In the early 1960’s through 1790, agriculture played a crucial role in Nigeria’s economic development. Apart from providing food for man and animals, it provided income, employment, raw materials for local industries and farm produce for export (foreign exchange earning). It has also gone a long way in enhancing rural development, as we shall be seeing later. Agricultural accounts for over 30% of gross domestic product (GDP). Agriculture has indeed provided the main stimulus to Nigeria’s economic development despite the small farm holding and primitive/manual production systems. Its contributions of other economic sectors is expanding in real terms, there is more to go round so that the welfare of the individual is increasing too.
- People are organised for increased production, more efficient distribution per capital real income.
- There is increased per capital real income
- Enabling environment for individual to develop the talents with which they are endowed is provided.
- There is a rise in income levels, especially in poor countries.
- There is reduction in inequalities of income and the satisfaction of the preference of the masses as a whole.
- There is rising income and changes in economic and social structure.
What roles has agriculture played along the line of economic development? Agriculture produces the basic raw materials for industries such raw materials includes cotton, cassava, maize, sorghum, soya beans, beniseeds, cocoa, palm kernel, palm oil, kola nut, Rubber etc. agriculture releases, manpower during peak periods. It stimulates import and export replacement. It also accumulates foreign earnings through commodity export. It also provides the required manpower in technical and managerial sectors. It also provides food for the citizenry who would not be healthy and productive unless such food in balanced content are eaten. These foods are made up of beverages, starches, protein, mineral fruits, vegetables oil seed, etc.
Agriculture also provide employment opportunities to the government through the extension agents to further himself, the produce processer, the distributor, research centers, the hunter, fishermen etc. income is also enhanced by the involvement in agriculture. This income is either to the individual or to government. Agriculture before the oil boom was the main stay of the nation’s income earning and impliedly its GNP. Appendix it shows the contribution of agriculture to the Nigerian Gross Product at 1984 constant factor cost.
The small farmer if given the right encouragement in the form of right technology and polices, is capable of producing more, earning enough for himself and family thereby contributing to the development of the rural environment. It also being argued that the mordernization make use of tractors and highly technical equipment which does not make for a healthy earth surface.
What is being done to encourage these small farmer to be more effective is the formation of co-operatives for large scale production and maximization of output. This is possible when farmers pool their resources together and ensure optimal utilization of resources for maximization and output optimization believing in the principle of synergy.
The introduction of extension services has also been of much help in this regard since they are link between researchers (for improved methods and seedlings) and the farmer. These extension agents communicate research results farmers, through helping them with the application of scientific and technological innovation to their daily routine in agriculture.
Agriculture Marketing And Rural Development
One of the essential requirement for speedy economic development is the expansion of market from local to regional and from regional to national levels so that large scale economics of both production and distribution could be reaped. Studies have shown that over 90% of the agricultural output is produced by the rural farmers who live in rural areas. As a result of the increased awareness, exposure, interaction and improved communication, these rural farmers are beginning to migrate to urban areas in order for them to enjoy the luxury of some basic infrastructure facilities such as electricity, pipe-borne water, good roads, in order, health centers, education, civic drift, government has been making effort to develop these rural areas by providing these basic infrastructure. So that the agricultural labour force could be motivated to stay back in the rural areas for effective agricultural production.
The establishment of small scale industries like the agro allied; goods roads to make for easy and less expensive transportation of input and evaluation of output, health, education and civic centers to make living in the rural areas a lot more interesting as incentive for the people to remain in the area thereby seeing that a lot of the people stayed back for farming of which most them as well as most of us depend on for the feeding and the provision of other raw materials. This would have been impossible in the urban areas, where there cannot be continuous land available for farming.
The issue of encouraging these farmers to stay back by providing the essential infrastructure have also helped in ensuring the rural areas get development, which will on the long run lead to community development, economic development and human resources development. The idea behind this is not just the development that comes into the rural areas, but the possibility of having these infrastructure that are in the urban area also available in the rural areas. People can easily relate to the gesture as government living up to their responsibility.