Marketing farm produce can be very disheartening. And if you ask most farmers why they choose to plant crop A over crop B despite crop B being cheaper or easier to manage. They will tell you a story of how they incurred losses in the market after planting crop B only to suffer extremely bad prices, due to an influx of the same in the market.
Unless you have some extra cash to invest in equipment and technology, that will allow you to plant off season. Be prepared to be faced with bad prices in the market. Now woe unto you, if you only depend on middlemen to sell your produce for you. You will know why most farmers are frustrated. With a few strategies though, a farmer can do one two things that will make his or her produce stand a better chance in the market.
1. Planting the best variety possible of produce.
While quality variety might be a little expensive for you, it generally fetches a better price in the market. Especially with an influx of let’s say tomatoes, customers will be looking to buy better quality produce due to the many mediocre options available. Better variety also means that you can secure more high end clients, like supermarkets and restaurants. Having “sure clients” helps to relieve pressure and the uncertainty that every farmer faces once their produce is almost ready. While you are at it, do not forget to get a proper contract. Nothing is worse than being met with disappointment, after doing your part.
2. Use social media.
Corona or no Corona, everyone is on social media. And you never know your client maybe the friend of your friend. Something as simple as setting up a Facebook or Instagram page for your farm can make your marketing a little easier. All you need to do is share pictures and connect with your audience.
Tip: people tend to have more loyalty to brands that are transparent. For example showing how you make your compost manure for your crops or the organic food you are feeding your cow will inspire a sense of loyalty in your audience who are likely to market your business for you via word of mouth to other people they know who would be interested in what you are growing.
Wondering how to go about social media marketing? You can check out this beginner friendly on social media marketing here.
3. Solve a problem.
As times have evolved so have problems. More people are conscious of the food they put in their body. As such there has been a rise in the consumption of organic and cruelty free foods. Also a fast rising concept is sustainable agriculture and more consumers are trying to ingest foods that are grown in environmental friendly farms. Incorporating practices like this, for example selling organic food, supporting an environmental friendly initiative will compel more consumers to buy from you. Something like for every chicken you buy we donate a free mask to a street child will make your customers feel like they are not only serving their own need bit also help solve an global problem.
4. Offer experiences alongside your produce.
Research shows that the most sure way of retaining customers, and attracting more, is by giving them a fulfilling experience every time they shop from you. Something as simple as a branded bag or a recipe card to your clients after buying would go along way in enhancing the experience of your customers.
The Africa farmers Club is a great resource for every farmer. So whether you are just looking to connect with fellow farmers, or need just help, you will not regret it. You can join by clicking on this link.