Proceedings of 9th Asian Business Research Conference 20-21 December, 2013, BIAM Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh ISBN: 978-1-922069-39-9 Awareness of Labor Intensiveness in Crop Cultivation-Latent Promotion for Agriculture Sector i Mahreen Mamoon A typical business strategy involves the promotion of goods to make a profitable sale. For a greater good of the society it is of high importance that the policy is driven towards sustainability of consumerism and promoting the agricultural produce. Bangladesh stands on the edge of dramatic political desperation that took an adverse toll on the agro development. The farmers are reluctant to produce quality products due to poor price and restricted fertilizer use. Attempt has been made to show a lightened tunnel towards leadership in achieving promotional success in putting agricultural produce in the minds of the customers. Availability and accessibility of cultivation information will put the value of the produce as an up-market product and hence, will achieve significant leap in competitiveness. Keywords: Agriculture, Consumerism, Promotion, Sustainability Field of Research: Agro Marketing Introduction Agricultural Marketing services differ in context from the conventional marketing in terms of stakeholders involved and the very operation of the production process. The increased labor intensiveness calls for better resourcefulness and technicality in building a stronger core brand in the minds of the customers. Agro-marketing has become a global phenomenon in recent past as global food security and hyper-hunger issue are on the rise. Peoples‟ perspective on the cultural process is far more positive in developing countries and investment ratio has increased dramatically resulting in better researched produce. Government intervention in restricting import of agro-products has been appreciated by the domestic producers and hence, the crop booms are in pictures. However, „with rain comes drain‟ and in Bangladesh perspective and drainage has been resulting from the overuse of chemical fertilizers and crop degradation. The poor knowledge of farmers and the lack of responsibility of the fertilizer producers have resulted in a national health crisis. The so called digitalization of agriculture has added to the dissatisfaction and frustration of the farmers as they have better access to the information of the gap of the price difference of what they are paid for their hard work and what end customers are giving the retailers. Abundant manpower centralized farming policy and lack of better entertainment makes it a focal contributing factor behind farming boost. A little price hike for common crop or agroproduce leads to massive market meltdown and customers‟ dissatisfaction. Little information found to confront the retailers on any acceptable price list of the daily bought vegetables and other crops. i Mahreen Mamoo , Assistant Professor. Department of Marketing and International Business. American International University- Bangladesh (AIUB), Bangladesh. [email protected] Proceedings of 9th Asian Business Research Conference 20-21 December, 2013, BIAM Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh ISBN: 978-1-922069-39-9 Focusing more on high production, hybrid hormonal crops and export emphasis have done little to the betterment of the peasants and have lead to greater risk of losing the heritage and diluting into urbanization. Agriculture marketing is an essential tool to uninterrupted, adequate and timely supply of agricultural products, inputs and services to target groups, including producers, consumers and intermediaries and agricultural marketing is not just a means of distributing agricultural product but also a way of stimulating new forms of production (Abbott, 1987). It covers the activity from conceptualization through harvesting to distribution and sales. Many a scattered functions are to be performed in between. Background Bangladesh is a land of many faces- cries of rain, smiles of crop, dramas of the draught, shrewdness of shivering cold and the rash of heat. Peoples‟ lives are juggled everyday with varied emotion that revolves around many facets of their lives. The pretension of being an agricultural country has led Bangladesh to a noticeably land of desperation. Agriculture was once the lifeline of economy where, „barns were full of paddy and people would sleep and good night sleep and wake up happy‟. Peasants‟ wrinkles of frustration have become a permanent feature of their faces and hence, the next generations are going for diverged earning source than agriculture. And few last nails on the coffin lay around in the names of volatile politic, social meltdown, globalized competition, share market scandal, GSP withhold by US, Corruption, Election tension and so on. Problem Identification and Research Objective An evaluation of the objectives of various regional identity brands by Banki (2007) showed that global objectives between the initiatives may be very different and do not necessarily focus on economic objectives but rather on sustainability goals in agricultural production and processing of food in a region. Figure 1 explains the research objective that has been constructed from “Eifel” regional identity model (Banik2007). The objective of publishing such concepts Better access the agricultural distribution process in order to understand the pricing criteria; To make the decision maker agro-business be more vigilant in promoting farm based business; Encourage future researchers to lay brighter light on the topic; Stay in process to build up a value addition model for Agro based products. Proceedings of 9th Asian Business Research Conference 20-21 December, 2013, BIAM Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh ISBN: 978-1-922069-39-9 Figure 1: Objective of Latent Advertising for Agricultural Sector Literature Review Much has been written and explored on the agriculture and related issues that prevails in Bangladesh. However, this is one of the very few attempts to blend the concepts of marketing with environment and agriculture to boost the overall country‟s economy and business structure. Akridge, Barnard and Downey (2002) pinned about the manager‟s decision scheme involved in agribusiness being the part of strategic feat of most fundamental choices facing an agribusiness firm. Decisions about which market to stalk and ultimately enter with a correct positioning will be the key marketing activities of the firm. The ongoing green revolution has lead the urban population towards cheaper option of food which has dramatically affected the grain prices and caused drastic melt down of the employability of agro sector (Shah and Desai). The 4 A’s of Agro marketing Purchase process stems from Awareness of the desired product. However, for latent demand, where in theory, customers are not even aware that they need that particular product is the pressure point of the game. However, the process of conceptualization and evaluation and the ultimate delivery of the produce is the pivotal stage of availability; another of the A‟s. Maynard and Beckman in their study  list the main functions of agricultural marketing. These include purchasing, sales, transportation, storage, sorting and grading, financing, added risk, Proceedings of 9th Asian Business Research Conference 20-21 December, 2013, BIAM Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh ISBN: 978-1-922069-39-9 and marketing information. Purchase and sale involve change of ownership. A thing sold is also bought, and anything bought is also sold. Transportation involves the transfer from a place of surplus to a place of shortage this is the geographical dimension, while storage involves the transfer from a period of surplus to a period of shortage - the time dimension. Mathur in his study of 1971 further extends the stages involved in agricultural marketing . He argues that marketing starts at the peasant's field and includes the following: collecting produce surplus from individual peasants, transportation to a nearby depot, sorting and grading, stocking up, processing, storage, packing, transportation to consumer centers, contact between producer and consumer, and sale to the consumer. Behavior and Attitude Segmentation The basic concept of market segmentation is that in any market there are likely to be important differences among buyers in terms of their product and service needs, buying behavior and attitudes. If buyer with similar needs, buying behavior, and attitudes can be identified and grouped into segments, marketers can focus on these specific groups by developing individualized programs for each group. The process in likely to result in higher level of satisfaction among buyers, and greater effectiveness of company objective fulfillment. Priory segmentation starts by establishing groups that differ with respect to some purchase characteristic such as frequency or size of purchase. In contrast, the number and type of segments in cluster based segmentation are not known in advance. Rather, the segments evolve from clustering respondents according to similarities in personal variables such as attitudes, interests, opinions, and benefits sought. This approach provides considerable insight into the nature of the person making a purchase decision, and thus is particularly helpful in guiding the development of overall communication programs. Recognition of buying behavior differences should not only inform the marketing message and the focus of the sales call or contact, it also should influence the product/service/information offering. Latency and Latent Demand Being „Latent‟ is a quality or state of existing but not yet developed or manifest; hidden or concealed. More of being in a dormant state. Latent demand is defined as the desire or preference which a consumer is unable to satisfy due to lack of information about the product‟s availability, or lack of money. One of the major objectives of marketing is to either influence the potential buyer to allocate their available money differently (in favor of the marketers‟ product) or to create purchasing power through the means such as deferred billing or hire purchase arrangements. Ethical Dilemma Worldwide business goal is in a renovation stage where profit maximization has been side-lined and Ethical Consumerism, Environmentalism, and overall Corporate Social Responsibility has Proceedings of 9th Asian Business Research Conference 20-21 December, 2013, BIAM Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh ISBN: 978-1-922069-39-9 been predominant as varied global crisis has been taken a universal cry. The importance of information in placing the product in the minds of the customer… The model of „profitability and profit growth‟ where profitability stems from lower cost of production is not true for the farmers and cultivators get very little of the country wide business. Source: www.giz.de Promotion of Agriculture in Benin (ProAgri) More than a third of Benin’s roughly ten million inhabitants live below the poverty line. The most important sector of the economy is agriculture, the proceeds of which support around two thirds of the population, and which provides 80% of the country’s export goods. However, despite a growth rate of four per cent in the sector (2011), value added remains low. Yields are modest and there is hardly any processing industry to speak of. Added to this are problems of infrastructure, largely inefficient administrative structures, and a weak private sector. Benin took an innovative approach to improve the productivity and competitiveness of their agriculture and reduce the poverty rate significantly. The project mainly focuses on promoting value chains for cashews, shea nuts, cotton, rice and pulses. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) are co financing the project. There are also financial contributions from the private sector, for instance through the initiatives Cotton Made in Africa and the African Cashew Initiative. The dissemination of energy-efficient stoves is being funded in cooperation with the EU, the Netherlands and Australia. The project advises the national authorities on the implementation of reforms in the agriculture sector. The private sector is also included in this process, for instance through newly formed interest groups and dialogue forums. Through its support for the processing and marketing of agricultural produce, and by providing training in improved cultivation, harvesting and processing techniques, the project is encouraging the emergence of new, competitive value chains. By working together with Benin’s producer cooperatives to promote the processing and marketing of agricultural produce, and by getting financial institutions involved as lenders, the project exploits the synergies that exist with the business and banking sectors. More efficient production techniques that eliminate the need to expand areas under cultivation and consume fewer natural resources serve to protect both the climate and the environment, as does the large-scale introduction of new cooking stoves that burn less fuel wood. At least 110,000 rural households have raised their incomes by nearly 30% in the space of five years. More than 10,000 new jobs have been created in produce processing and marketing. Above all, these provide additional income for women. Harvesting and total yield has significantly seen boosts. Case 1 Proceedings of 9th Asian Business Research Conference 20-21 December, 2013, BIAM Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh ISBN: 978-1-922069-39-9 Methodology Focus groups provide insights into how people think and provide a deeper understanding of the phenomena being studied. The method is far expressing than close ended questions and delivers better outcome for qualitative research. Questions have been designed so as to promote discussion rather than nodding away. The sample is a subset of the population chosen to be a convenient one. The respondents were shown video clips of cultivation process of paddy, egg, poultry transport and the peasants‟ lifestyle and economic status. Focus Group Interview Twelve individuals (Names kept anonymous) were selected to conduct the focus group session. The group consisted of seven males and five females between the ages 24 to 56 from different backgrounds (students, housewives, Government officer, teachers, office clerk and administrative manager). Educational levels of the respondents range from Eighth standard to post graduation. Their income level lays between Five Thousand per month to Sixty Thousand per month. They were selected at random based on the fact that they do their kitchen groceries by themselves. They attended the discussion voluntarily without any compensation, yet they were served with high tea. Six of the group were single and rest are married with family members of more than three or four. The reason for choosing the members is solely because they do their groceries and they are the decision makers of their respective houses. They are encouraged to discuss about their normal grocery and were shown different other agro based products and motes were taken after observing their reaction and willingness to buy and consume. Responses The Focus group participants were asked to respond to a series of questions about – Their current usage and focal motivation behind buying/consuming agricultural products. Top five agricultural produce they buy Frequency of purchase Reaction to price hike Alternative to agricultural product or shopping options Findings/Discussion People felt for the products that they saw being manufactured than they did not .. Customized marketing strategy has to be tailored product wise as manufacturing process and distribution process differ. Though the focus group was held to spike the emotion of the general mass and persuade them into the favor of the cultivators is actually an emotional stimulus. But for marketers‟ point of view, emotional marketing often collide with actual game and lose the confidence of the stakeholders. Proceedings of 9th Asian Business Research Conference 20-21 December, 2013, BIAM Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh ISBN: 978-1-922069-39-9 Figure 1 Recommendation Government funded research and facilities for – and ensure subsidized sourcing and legislative bureau for agrarian development and integration with other countries Cutting through middlemen and intermediaries to gain better access to Job placement for skilled agricultural people for better income and macro training culture Internationalization to allow access to cheaper source and free economy in promoting export Proceedings of 9th Asian Business Research Conference 20-21 December, 2013, BIAM Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh ISBN: 978-1-922069-39-9 Figure 2 Limitation The country is going through a political turmoil. Getting access to primary data, visiting research fields has not been possible due to on-going strikes. Also unsatisfactory and biased data could not be ignored completely. Trying to write about something about Bangladesh Agriculture is a mammoth task as the diversity, versatility and area is enormous. Conclusion Perspective is a relative phenomenon. Consumers‟ preference on a particular product can easily be shaped into the marketers‟ favor through the use of right communication tools. Agricultural produce suffered from the myth that they don‟t need promotion as people in need of certain products will find them and later will purchase. However, the focus group proves that when potential consumers are shown several products out of their usual grocery list, they get interested to consume. Farmers will get better price for their yield and hence will achieve sustainability in production pattern. Food security and staple diversity is Government‟s prime concern in poverty alleviation. Through the upgrading of farmer‟s income level, the overall agro Proceedings of 9th Asian Business Research Conference 20-21 December, 2013, BIAM Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh ISBN: 978-1-922069-39-9 value chain will likely to get a boost and consumers will be left will better choice of products with the twist of societal contribution. References i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. viii. ix. x. BBS 2013, Yearbook of Agricultural Statistics of Bangladesh. Ministry of Agriculture, Government Republic of Bangladesh. National Agriculture Policy 2010. Final Draft, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of the Peoples‟ Republic of Bangladesh. Bruyins, C, Hahn, DE & Taylor, WJ 1997, „Critical success factors for emerging agricultural marketing cooperatives‟. American Cooperation. David Bau, Regional Extension Educator, Erlin J Weness, Professor Emeritus 8/2006. Marketing Strategies for Agricultural Commodities. University of Minnesota. 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