Meaning of Agricultural Marketing
The term ‘Agricultural Marketing’ is comprised of two words: Agriculture and Marketing. Agriculture simply involves growing and raising of crops and livestock, whereas marketing encompasses the series of activities involved in moving the goods from point of production to point of consumption. The agricultural marketing essentially involves the buying and selling of agricultural products on a wider scale across the country. It includes each and every activity related to supplying of farm inputs to farmers and movement of agricultural products from farms to the consumers. There are basically three important functions served by agricultural marketing that are assembling or concentration of goods, preparation (processing) for consumption and distribution of agricultural products.
Agricultural marketing system includes two major sub-system within it viz product marketing and input (factor) marketing. The product marketing sub-system is inclusive of farmers, village traders, processors, wholesalers, importer, exporter, retailers, marketing cooperatives and regulated marketed committees. Whereas, input marketing sub-system includes input manufacturers, distributors, importers, exporters, related associations and others one who make distinct farm production inputs available to farmers.
Types of Agricultural Marketing
Some of the prominent types of agricultural marketing are as follows: –
Primary or Local Markets
Primary markets are also termed as Shandies or Hatts, and are held once or twice a week in the neighborhood of a group of villages. At present, more than 22,000 such markets are operating in India. Many agriculturists sell their farm products in this type of market. The village panchayats organize primary market and charges rent from shopkeepers for the space occupied. Bargaining and Haggling is the common feature of these markets.
Secondary markets are referred to as wholesale or assembling markets that are also called gungs or mandis. In numbers, there are around 4,145 such markets. Secondary markets are permanent in nature where business dealings get transacted regularly throughout the year. The production gets handled in big quantities and specialized operators are necessary for the performance of distinct services. Such markets offer facilities of storage, handling, banking services and are well-connected by roads and railways.
The fairs taking place on occasions of different religions at pilgrim centres serve as an important source of agricultural marketing in India. They are held annually and gets organized by district officers, private agencies or local bodies. In India, these fairs are every common in Rajasthan, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujrat, West Bengal, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh.
Terminal markets are one who carries out the function of carrying goods to consumers, final buyers or to the places of processing. These markets are mostly found in big cities or at ports. The size of their operational activities extends over a state.
Co-operative markets are markets working on the basis of principles of cooperation. The agricultural produce is carried out by cooperative marketing society directly to the consumers, thereby eliminating a large army of intermediaries and middlemen.
Regulated markets are set up by Government with the aim of monitoring fraudulent activities that is generally practiced by traders in primary and secondary markets. The Government marketing practices prescribe the rules and regulations for such type of markets.
State trading in agricultural production has nowadays become a key element of agricultural marketing in India. The exclusive centers are set up by state agencies such as Food corporation of India, in and around mandis and villages during the time of harvesting for procurement of products from peasants to Government at fixed prices.