The term agricultural marketing is composed of two words -agriculture and marketing. Agriculture, in the broadest sense means activities aimed at the use of natural resources for human welfare, and marketing connotes a series of activities involved in moving the goods from the point of production to the point of consumption. Specification, the subject of agricultural marketing includes marketing functions, agencies, channels, efficiency and cost, price spread and market integration, producers surplus etc. The agricultural marketing system is a link between the farm and the non-farm sectors.
In India Agriculture was practiced formerly on a subsistence basis; the villages were self sufficient, people exchanged their goods, and services within the village on a barter basis. With the development of means of transport and storage facilities, agriculture has become commercial in character, the farmer grows those crops that fetch a better price. Marketing of agricultural produce is considered as an integral part of agriculture, since an agriculturist is encouraged to make more investment and to increase production. Thus there is an increasing awareness that it is not enough to produce a crop or animal product; it must be marketed as well.
The importance of marketing in agriculture is very well illustrated by saying, "that a good farmer has one eye on the plough and the other on the market". This is true when agriculture is mainly for subsistence; and now, even Indian agriculture is becoming commercialized. In these days of commercial agriculture, it will be more fit to say, "a good farmer has only his hands on the plough but the eyes on the market’ Since agriculture constitutes a major part of the economy, marketing of agricultural products also assumes considerable importance in our context.
Agricultural marketing involves in its simplest form the buying and selling of agricultural produce. This definition of agricultural marketing may be accepted in olden days, when the village economy was more or less self-sufficient, when the marketing of agricultural produce presented no difficulty, as the farmer sold his produce directly to the consumer on a cash or barter basis. However, in modem times, marketing of agricultural produce is different from that of olden days. In modem marketing, agricultural produce has to undergo a series of transfers or exchanges from one hand to another before it finally reaches the consumer.
The National Commission on Agriculture, defined agricultural marketing as a process which starts with a decision to produce a saleable farm commodity and it involves all aspects of market structure of system, both functional and institutional, based on technical and economic considerations and includes pre and post- harvest operations, assembling, grading, storage, transportation and distribution. The Indian council of Agricultural Research defined involvement of three important functions, namely (a) assembling (concentration) (b) preparation for consumption (processing) and (c) distribution.
In short, all the activities like transportation processing, storage, grading are including in the agriculture marketing. These activities are inadequate in the economy of every country.
Importance and Objectives of Agriculture Marketing
The farmer has realized the importance of adopting new techniques of production and is making efforts for more income and higher standards of living. As a consequence, the cropping pattern is no longer dictated by what he needs for his own personal consumption but what is responsive to the market in terms of prices received by him. While the trade is very organised the farmers are not Farmer is not conversant with the complexities of the marketing system which is becoming more and more...