Agricultural marketing refers to all those processes which relate to taking the agricultural product from the farmers to the consumers. It also includes gathering the agricultural produce, their standardization, and grading, their storage, sending them to the market through various middlemen, selling in the market and arranging the required finance, etc.
Even though India is an agricultural country, still its agricultural marketing has been defective. The Indian farmers are unable to get reasonable prices for the products. They are fully exploited by the middlemen.
Too Many Intermediates
The one main defect of Indian Agricultural marketing is the presence of too many middlemen and the exploitation of farmers by them. On one hand, these middlemen exploit the farmers by purchasing the produce at lower prices, and on the other hand, they exploit the customers by demanding higher prices from them. The only aim of a number of commission agents, brokers etc. is to derive a higher income from the middle processes. These middlemen take undue advantage of the poor former on the basis of their financial resources.
Defective Weights and Scales
One of the biggest defects of agricultural marketing arises due to weights and scales. Usually, in rural areas bricks, etc. are used as weights and in urban markets also defective weights are found. Thus, the grain of the farmer is weighed by a heavier weight for their own gain. Most of the traders keep separate weights for purchase and sale of grain.
Illiteracy and Lack of Unity among Farmers
The Indian farmers are illiterate who are easier to be fooled by the money lenders, traders, middlemen, due to their simple nature. Similarly, lack of unity among farmers also causes their exploitation because Indian farmers are spread in distant areas in rural places. They are unable to meet with each other and resolve their problems, as a result, they do not get a fair price for their produce.
Lack of Financial Resources
In rural areas, there is a lack of financial resources, due to which even their emergency requirements are not fulfilled. In such conditions, the farmers sell their produce before its ripening. Similarly, some financial facilities, like, installments on loans for pumping-set, tractor, thrasher, etc. have to be paid on a monthly or quarterly basis due to which they have to sell the product as soon as possible. Thus, as the lack of financial assistance, is a problem for the farmers; so does the receipt of loan also puts them in the problem.
Lack of Organised Marketing System
Agricultural marketing is also very defective in India because here organized marketing is not in vogue, like, cooperative societies, government marketing activities, regular markets, etc. As a result, the farmer remains entangled In exploitation. Thus, the lack of an organized marketing system is harmful to the farmers. That is -why; the farmer sells his product personally to different people. The middle takes full advantage of the unorganized farmers.
Lack of Transport Facilities
The roads from Villages to cities are usually unmade which are not capable of transport during the rainy season. The bullock carts can take the product only up to a limited area. During a lack of transport facilities, the farmer is unable to take his produce to the appropriate market and is unable to receive a fair price for his product.
Lack of Store Houses
An important deficiency of Indian agricultural marketing is the lack of storehouses. Due to lack of this facility, the farmer is unable to keep his product safely until it can fetch a fair price. He is forced to sell his product at a low price. The insufficient and unscientific facilities of shortage which are available, waste large quantities of grains. Approximately 20% to 30% gains are lost due to rats, insects, etc. and the farmers have to bear crores of loss due to lack of these facilities.
Lack of Standardization
The lack of standardization and grading is clearly visible in the Indian Agricultural marketing, due to which fixing a deal in relation to these products becomes difficult. Due to the lack of proper standardization and grading the customers have a problem in purchasing the product.
Lack of Awareness of the Market
The Indian farmer has no knowledge about marketing. He believes in information acquired from the businessmen and money lenders of the village. Mostly, the Indian farmers are illiterate so they cannot read the newspaper. Thus, they do not have sufficient knowledge about the market. Now, government transmits the rates of the market on the ratio, which has definitely benefited them.
Corrupt Policies of the ‘Mandis’
If we observe the condition of the mandis, this fact is no more hidden that the middlemen and the traders jointly make fool the simple farmers. The Indian Organizing Society has clarified the following facts relating to the corrupt policies of the mandis
- The inappropriate marketing system is so deep laden in India that about 5% of the amount is deducted from the farmer’s produce in the name of donations, ‘dharmada’, ‘chanda’ etc.
- The farmers are paid low prices, as they lack appropriate knowledge about market prices, their fluctuations, government policies, etc. Thus, by keeping the rates secret, the farmers are cheated.
- Before the sale, large amounts of grains are taken from the farmers as samples. By declaring the product to be of substandard quality minimum prices are paid for it.