Proceedings of 9th Asian Business Research Conference

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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 [12] 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 [13]. 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.
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