India is basically an agrarian society, mostly dependent on agriculture, since times immemorial. Rural marketing is as old as civilization. Surplus of the agro-products were exchanged in earlier days by barter system. Gradually, the scenario has changed with the introduction of currency, transport and communication. This has relatively increased the scope of rural marketing. There are networks of co-operative societies at the local, regional, state and national levels, which assist in agricultural marketing. The commodities mostly handled are food grains, vegetables, milk, etc. This paper discusses the present scenario of rural marketing, especially the rural produce, and its importance, current trends, middlemen exploitation and highlighting certain problems faced by our farmers in marketing their products, with possible solutions for these problems. Further it highlights the improvement required to make the rural marketing most effective and reachable to the farmers.
Keywords: Agriculture, Agro-products, rural marketing, Middlemen exploitation, possible solutions to the problems.
Marketing as a function has started much earlier when civilization started but not recognized as marketing. The rural marketing refers to the marketing of commodities starting from agricultural products, fruits, vegetables, grains and very essential commodities i.e. dairy products, both from rural and urban areas to rural sectors. The agricultural products are marketed through different means of transport, infrastructure, and storage facilities to a stretch of rural India. Hence the concern of rural marketing basically lies from raw material till the processing of the products to market and finally to the consumers. Hence rural marketing involves a lot of strategies in enhancing the products to the rural market.
MARKETING SCENARIO IN INDIA:
A network of cooperatives at the local, state, and national levels assist in agricultural marketing in India. The major commodities handled are food grains, jute, cotton, sugar, milk, and areca nuts. Established in 1958 as the apex of the state marketing federations, the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India handles much of the domestic and most of the export marketing for its member organizations. Most agricultural produce in India is sold by farmers in the private sector to moneylenders (to whom the farmer may be indebted) or to village traders. Produce is sold in various ways. It might be sold at a weekly village market in the farmer's own village or in a neighbouring village. If these outlets are not available, then produce might be sold at non-periodically held markets in a nearby village or town, or in the mandi . Farmers also can sell to traders who come to the work site. The Indian government has adopted various measures to improve agricultural marketing. These steps include establishing regulated markets, constructing warehouses, grading and standardizing produce, standardizing weights and measures, and providing information on agricultural prices over All India Radio (Akashvani), the national radio network and local reading and national news papers. The Food Corporation of India was established in 1965 as the public-sector marketing agency responsible for implementing government price policy through procurement and public distribution operations. It was intended to secure for the government a commanding position in the food-grain trade. By 1979 the corporation was operating in all states as the sole agent of the central government in food-grain procurement. The corporation uses the services of state government agencies and cooperatives in its operations. The Food Corporation of India is the sole repository of food grains reserved for the Public Distribution System. Food grains, primarily wheat and rice, account for between 60 and 75 percent of...