The market for farm products is growing rapidly and this is good for farmers. However, it can also be overwhelming for a farmer who's trying to sell their product. This is because there are so many factors to consider when trying to market your farm products. Some are logistical, such as the type of packaging you use, the right size box, how you present the products in the store and even how you approach the media aspect. Others are more marketing oriented such as finding out who your target customers are and what they want.
Finding markets for your farm products is one of the most important steps in starting a successful farming business. While there are many ways to market your farm products, here are some tips from experienced farmers who have had success:
1. Fill the Gap in the Market
There are two ways to create a new market niche. One is to fill the gap in the existing market. The other is to create a new market.
Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages, but if you're going to be successful, you need to choose one or the other.
Filling the gap in the existing market: This approach involves providing a product that complements or replaces an existing product in order to provide customers with more choice and better value for their money. For example, some farmers sell their own milk; others sell milk from other farms or make cheese from their own cows' milk.
Creating a new market: This approach involves creating a product that no one else offers on the market today. It might be something as simple as growing a particular kind of vegetable or raising chickens that lay eggs with dark-colored yolks (the latter being more expensive than white ones).
2. Give Discounts
Farmer’s produce, especially perishable produce, needs a quick market. The truth is, farmers are a lot like the rest of us. They’re not always sure what they should be doing, and they just don’t have time to figure it out.
The best way to sell more and fast is to give discounts.
Let's look at the math:
Say you're selling a product and you expect to sell 100 units. That's your profit margin.
You can increase your sales by lowering the price of that product. So if your profit margin was $3, here's what happens when you lower the price:
The unit price goes down from $3 down to $2.50, which gives you an additional 10% in revenue. But it also lowers your profit margin from $3 down to $2.50 (which is less than your original number), so now your net profit is only $2.50 for every unit sold instead of $3 for every unit sold.
Customers love discounts and this is a great way to break into the market as a first time farmer.
3. Sending Gift Packages to Local Women Groups
Farmers can find markets by sending gift packages to local women groups. Gift packages are a great way to introduce farmers' products to consumers. Gift packages give farmers an opportunity to communicate with consumers and increase their chances of selling their produce.
Gift packages can be made from many different types of materials, including your agricultural produce such as tomatoes, onions and vegetables. You can attach a card to invite them to your farm to buy your produce directly.
The main aim of this is to spread awareness about the farmers' products and their benefits to the people. This way, people will be encouraged to buy these products from the farmers rather than from other sources like supermarkets or shops that sell imported goods.
4. Farmers Market
Farm markets are the backbone of agricultural communities. They provide farmers with opportunities to sell their products directly to consumers, give them an opportunity to meet other local farmers who might be interested in selling their products and create demand for them in local communities.
These palces are a great way to find markets for your farm products, especially when you don't have a lot of money to put up a shop. These markets are an excellent place to sell your produce and other goods because they provide low prices and in return you get a chance to see what people want. You can also learn how to do your marketing better by watching what others do.
5. Agricultural Shows and Fairs
Many farmers go to agricultural trade shows because this is a great way for them to showcase their products and connect with potential buyers. Recently, we had a Nairobi Agricultural Show that happened in Jamhuri Park. This helped so many farmers and innovators in the agricultural space to interact with their customers and sell directly to people who loved their products. Synnefa as an agritechnology brand also showcased the agritech solutions we offer to farmers such as:
- AI Powered Farmshield
- Smart Greenhouse
- Drip Irrigation Kits
- Farm Cloud, our farm management tool
- Agronomy Services
Consider selling at agricultural shows or fairs that focus on local products or seasonal produce. These events offer an opportunity to meet potential customers and showcase your product offerings at a time when they're in demand.
6. Build Relationships with Distributors and other Farmers
Create relationships with other farmers who grow similar crops or livestock in your area so that you can help each other promote their brands and products through shared advertising efforts. Farmers can also find a market for their products through people who are already in the business. To make this work, you need to first build relationships with distributors and customers to help you sell the products directly from the farm.
Most local retailers and distributors help farmers find a ready market for their products. This is how most local farmers sell their products. For example, we have farmers in our remote areas who focus on growing food that is later sold to distributors or brokers who buy directly from the farm and transport them to the urban cities.
7. Direct Marketing
Direct marketing is a great way for farmers to reach out to their potential customers. Some of these methods include sending out flyers, postcards, and newsletters. Farmers can also set up stands at events such as fairs and festivals that are frequented by people who may be interested in purchasing their products.
You can also find out what your local farmers' market needs are. This is the easiest way to get started, because you can talk directly with customers and find out what they need and want. You can also learn about their tastes, preferences and production methods by talking to them about it.
8. Social Media
Social media has become a huge part of our daily lives, so much so that it has become difficult to think about life without these sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube being part of your daily routine. Farmers use these sites as an easy way to connect with people and share information about their farms and products with them.
Social media platforms allow farmers and other individuals interested in farming or agriculture to find the markets they need by posting information about what they produce and where they sell it. There are several different types of posts that can be made on these platforms including photos of plants, animals or products from the farm; videos explaining how certain plants or animals were raised or harvested; links to websites where additional information about certain types of plants they offer.
9. Ecommerce Sites
Mobile phones have become the must have gadget in Kenya. Many farmers are using them to access their customers, markets and also financial investors. Kenya has one of the highest rates of mobile phone penetration in Africa with 95% mobile penetration according to the latest statistics from the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK).
Many Kenyans are using their smartphones to access information from the digital spaces, order for their groceries among other products they may need. Food and agri-related products and services are also finding their way to the ecommerce sites.
Create a website that features photographs of your farm, along with information about how it was grown or made, as well as prices and delivery options such as pick-up or delivery. For instance, we have ecommerce sites specifically for farmers such as the Twiga Foods ecommerce. Agricultural brands are also creating their own ecommerce sites on their websites such as our Syneffa product.
10. Tv, Radio and Billboard Advertising
Traditional advertising still plays a huge role in selling products. We still have a lot of audiences consuming content through television, local radio stations and billboards. Some farmers harvest a lot hence a need to reach new customers and make sure that they are getting the most value from what they are growing. These forms of advertising work best to reach your intended buyer.
There are many ways farmers use to find markets for their goods, but the most important thing is knowing which ones will be best for your farm. Some people might not want certain types of produce because it doesn't taste good or looks bad. Others might not want them because they don't like the way it smells or looks. The more information you have about what people want, the more successful you will be at finding a good market for your goods.