Everything you need to know about agricultural marketing. Agricultural marketing comprises marketing of food grain, commercial crops, plantation crops, horticultural produce and semi-processed products.

Agricultural Marketing is a process which starts with a decision to produce a saleable farm commodity, and it involves all the aspects of market structure or system, both functional and institutional, based on technical and economic considerations, and include pre- and post-harvest operations viz., assembling, grading, storage, transportation and distribution.

Learn about:-

1. Definition of Agricultural Marketing 2. Characteristics of Agricultural Marketing 3. Classification 4. Types 5. Functions 6. Foreign Trade 7. Basic Facilities


8. Pre-Requisites 9. Need for Trained Personnel 10. Agricultural Research 11. Steps Taken for Improvisation 12. Defects 13. Measures.

Agricultural Marketing: Definition, Characteristics, Classification, Types, Functions, Research, Defects and Measures


  1. Definition of Agricultural Marketing
  2. Characteristics of Agricultural Marketing
  3. Classification of Agricultural Marketing
  4. Types of Agricultural Marketing
  5. Functions of Agricultural Marketing
  6. Foreign Trades of Agricultural Products
  7. Basic Facilities Needed for Agricultural Marketing
  8. Pre-Requisites for Effective Agricultural Marketing
  9. Need for Trained Personnel in Agricultural Marketing
  10. Agricultural Research in Agricultural Marketing
  11. Steps Taken for Improvising Agricultural Marketing
  12. Defects of Agricultural Marketing
  13. Measures for Correcting the Defects in Agricultural Marketing

Agricultural Marketing – Definitions: Provided by Thomsen and National Commission on Agriculture

According to Thomsen – the study of agricultural marketing comprises all the operations, and the agencies conducting them, involved in the movement of farm produced foods, raw materials and their derivatives, such as textiles, from the farms to the final consumers, and the effects of such operations on farmers, middlemen and consumers.

According to the National Commission on Agriculture – Agricultural Marketing is a process which starts with a decision to produce a saleable farm commodity, and it involves all the aspects of market structure or system, both functional and institutional, based on technical and economic considerations, and include pre- and post-harvest operations viz., assembling, grading, storage, transportation and distribution.


Marketing of agricultural goods in India is of no mean significance. Agricultural marketing is one of the manifold problems, which has direct bearing upon the prosperity of the cultivator. Agricultural marketing, in its wide sense, comprises all the operations involved in the movement of goods and raw materials from the field to the final consumer.

It includes handling of product at the farm, initial processing, grading and packing in order to maintain and enhance quality and avoid wastage. Unfortunately, the present system of marketing of agricultural goods in India is extremely defective and needs a thorough overhauling.

The close inter-relationship between agricultural production (farming), agricultural finance (credit), and agricultural marketing (sale of farm products) has been recognised by the Government as well as by the experts on agricultural problems.

Farm products cover not only the products arising out of cultivation, but also products arising from dairy farming, poultry farming, fruit cultivation, vegetable farming, etc. In this wider sense, milk and milk products, eggs, fruits, vegetables, honey are also agricultural goods.


In spite of developed agricultural marketing with respect to highly sophisticated means of transport facilities, improved form of standardization and grading, advanced communication system, scientific method of storage and warehousing, the Indian agriculture is still for behind.

Therefore, it is required that wide and effective distribution channels should be used for different types of marketing, which exercise different functions in the marketing of agricultural goods. The small-scale production of farm products further leads to concentration, equalization and dispersion. As a result, these agricultural goods necessarily move through some important wholesale markets such as – jobbing market and secondary market.

Agricultural Marketing – Characteristics: Bulkiness, Perishability, Wide Varietal Difference, Seasonality, Dispersed Production and Processing Needs for Consumption

The peculiar characteristics of agricultural produce, result in a very complicated marketing system.

The peculiar characteristics of agricultural produce are:


(a) Bulkiness

(b) Perishability

(c) Wide varietal differences

(d) Seasonality


(e) Dispersed production

(f) Processing needs for consumption.

These characteristics make the agricultural marketing a complicated system. Generally, the farmers sell their agricultural produce immediately after harvest in raw form without any processing. Since, only raw produce is marketed there arises a need for many intermediaries to operate between the producer and consumer.

The path that goods take from producer to final consumer is called the marketing channel. The type and complexity of the marketing channel varies with different commodities. The roadside market is a very simple marketing channel, from producer/farmer directly to consumer(Vegetables). However, most products undergo further processing at different levels of the marketing channel and pass through many firms before they reach the ultimate consumer.

Agricultural Marketing – Classification on the Basis of Location: Local Market/Village Market, Primary Markets, Secondary Markets and Terminal Markets

Agricultural marketing comprises marketing of food grain, commercial crops, plantation crops, horticultural produce and semi-processed products.


Economists have divided market in different manners based on the frequency with which they are held, the type of products traded, the scale of transaction and the kind of marketing functions performed.

(a) On the basis of frequency with which they are held, markets can be classified into daily markets, weekly markets, biweekly markets and monthly markets.

(b) Based on the types of products traded, we may classify as grain markets, cotton markets, fish market, fruit and vegetable markets etc.


(c) Based on the types of transactions held, we may classify into spot markets and forward markets.

(d) Based on the marketing functions performs, agricultural markets may be classified as Assembling, Wholesale and Distribution Markets.

On the basis of location we may classify agricultural markets into:

I. Local market/village market

II. Primary markets

III. Secondary market


IV. Terminal markets.

I. Local Markets:

This market is confined to a particular village, where producers and intermediaries or consumers meet for the purchase and sale of farm products. The products produced in that village are brought for sale in these markets.

The local market is also known as growers’ market and is available in the vicinity of rural areas. They are generally located in small towns and at their convenient places, where rural producers bring their produce and sell to the buyers.

Functions of Local Markets:

1. Assembling of Products – The primary function of local market is to assemble the farm produce at a single place.

2. Availability of convenient place – As the producers and buyers meet at a nearby place, this type of market act as a convenient place for producers as well as buyers. This helps the producers and relieves them from the headaches of transportation and save other costs of carrying it to the towns.


3. Immediate Cash Payment – In these types of markets the village producers get immediate payment after the sale of their produce.

II. Primary Markets:

Primary markets are periodical markets locally called as “Shandies or Haats”. They are generally held once a week on a particular day. They are generally held in the open place or in roadside groves in centrally situated areas. Generally these markets are situated in the producing areas, commodities produced in the nearby surrounding areas are brought here and sold in these markets.

The agricultural produce is purchased by intermediaries, which later they sell it into wholesale markets. Besides agricultural produce, a number of other articles required by rural folks such as locally made agricultural inputs such as threshers, hannovers, winnovers are available and consumables such as pulses, salt, jaggery, oil, fruits and vegetables, spices, cloth, hosiery products and ornaments of cheap metal are also sold in these markets.

Functions of Primary Markets:

The main function of these markets is to serve as assembling centres for the local produce, but they also function as distributive centres for local consumption.

III. Secondary Markets:

These markets are situated at district headquarters and other towns. They are also known as ‘Mandis’ or ‘Gunjs’. These are regular wholesale markets and provide a permanent place for daily transaction. The quantum of commodities transacted is in bulk. Large quantities of commodities arrive from other markets into these markets.


Therefore, there are middlemen, market agents, weighmen and commission agents are involved in the marketing system. These markets also have grading, packing, warehousing, loading, transportation, telephone and banking facilities. These facilities available in ‘Central Markets’ make it possible to handle business at large scale. There are about 2,500 secondary markets in India.

IV. Terminal Markets:

A terminal market is a market where the produce is either finally disposed of to the consumer or to the processor or assembled for export. In these markets, merchants are well organized and use modern methods of marketing. In this market the price locating activities operate and buyers and sellers represent the different regions or nations sometimes meet to adjust the supply and demand.

It is the combination of three processes of marketing such as concentration, dispersion and equalization. These markets handles large scale business with large number of buyers and sellers and the facilities such as grading, transportation, information, packing, weighing, loading, etc., are available in these markets, which are required to boost the volume of trading. The terminal markets are located in highly populated cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore etc.

Agricultural Marketing – Top 7 Types: Primary Market, Secondary Market, Terminal Market, Fairs, Regulated Markets, Co-Operative Markets and State Trading

The important types of agricultural markets in India are as follows:

Type # 1. Primary or Local Markets:

Primary markets, known as Hatts or Shandies are held once or twice a week in the neighbourhood of a group of villages. There are more than 22,000 such markets in India. Most of the agriculturists sell their farm products in these markets. More than 50% of the total marketed surplus is sold in these markets. These markets are organized by village Panchayats who charge some rent from shopkeepers for the space occupied. Haggling and bargaining is a common feature of these markets. The village bania acts as a middleman in these markets.

Type # 2. Secondary Markets:

These are also known as ‘wholesale’ or ‘assembling’ markets and are called ‘mandis’ or ‘gungs’. There are about 4145 such markets. These markets are permanent in nature; business in the markets is transacted regularly throughout the year.


The produce is handled in large quantities and specialized operators become necessary for the performance of different services. The markets provide facilities of storage, handling and banking services and are well-served by roads and railways. A number of middlemen operate in these markets.

Type # 3. Terminal Markets:

These markets perform the function of carrying goods to consumers, final buyers or to places of processing. Such markets are to be found in big cities or at ports. The area of their operation extends over a state.

Type # 4. Fairs:

Fairs held on religious occasions at pilgrim centres are important sources of marketing of agricultural produce in India. Such fairs are held annually and are organized by district officers, local bodies or private agencies. These fairs are very popular in Bihar, W. Bengal, UP, Orissa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Type # 5. Regulated Markets:

These have been set up by the Government with the purpose of checking fraudulent practices which are generally practiced by traders in the primary and secondary markets. In these markets, the rules and regulations are prescribed by the Government marketing practices.

Type # 6. Co-Operative Marketing:

These markets function on the basis of principles of cooperation. A cooperative marketing society carry the agricultural produce direct to the consumers thus eliminating a large army of middlemen and intermediaries.

Type # 7. State Trading:

State trading in agricultural produce has become an important element of agricultural marketing in India. State agencies like, Food Corporation of India, set up their exclusive centres in and around villages and mandis at harvest time to procure produce from peasants to Government at fixed prices.

Agricultural Marketing – Functions Performed by Intermediaries: Collection, Assembling, Grading, Standardization, Storage, Transportation, Processing and a Few Others

A marketing function may be called as an act, operation or service performed in carrying a product from the point of its production to the ultimate consumer. The marketing functions involved in the movement of goods from the producer to its ultimate consumer may vary from commodity to commodity, market to market.


For example, marketing of rice may involve first bagging of paddy, loading, and transporting, it to the rice mill. Then processing it to make rice, again packing and transporting it to the market to sell to wholesaler from there the wholesaler sell it to retailer and then finally it reaches to the consumer.

The marketing functions may be classified in various ways. For example, Thomsen has classified the marketing functions into three broad groups.

There are many ways by which the farmer may dispose of his surplus agricultural produce. The first and the most common method is to sell away his surplus agricultural produce to village trader, who may buy it either on his own or as an agent of a bigger merchant of the neighbouring ‘Mandi’ town. It is estimated that in Punjab, 60 percent of wheat, 70 percent of oils and 35 percent of cotton are sold in the village itself.

The second method adopted by the Indian farmer is to dispose of his produce in the weekly village markets, (shandies/haats). In haats and fairs, the farmers bring their produce as well as livestock and sell them.

The third method of agricultural marketing is through the ‘Mandis’ in small and large towns. To sell in the Mandi, the farmer has to make special effort and arrangements to carry his produce and transport his produce till the nearby Mandi.

In the Mandis, there are brokers or dalals who help the farmers to dispose of their produce to the wholesalers known as ‘arhatiyas’. The wholesalers may take the agricultural produce which they have purchased from the farmers to rice mills, flour mills and processing units, after processing the produce, now it may be ready for consumption. Since, the agricultural produce as marketed by the farmers are in raw farm, it needs further processing to bring it to the consumable form. From there again, retailers will buy it and sell them to the ultimate consumer.

For example, the farmers market paddy, wheat or sugarcane as is produced by them. The paddy has to be processed into rice and wheat into atta, sooji, maida and sugarcane into sugar or jaggery. Thus these functions are being performed by the intermediaries to make the produce in a consumable form.

There is no mystery about the way agricultural produce gain utility and move from the producer to consumer. Several specific activities or functions form steps in the successful execution of the marketing process. Marketing functions are not necessarily carried out in a fixed order, but they must be accomplished. In some cases for example in fruit and vegetables, on the roadside market, all the marketing functions take place in a very short time and in a very direct manner, where only the producer and the final consumer are involved.

In other cases such as “Captain Cook” atta or “Kellog’s” cornflakes/breakfast cereal or Fruit Juices or Tomato Ketchup, the functions are very complex, involves dozens of different firms and people, and require months to complete. But in both cases, the same marketing functions are required. The manner in which marketing functions are carried out varies from product to product, but is usually an orderly process that evolves over time as conditions change.

The major functions performed by the intermediaries are:

1. Collection and assembling

2. Grading and standardization

3. Storage

4. Transportation

5. Processing

6. Wholesaling and Retailing.

These functions are performed by itinerant village merchants, commission agents, wholesalers, transport operators, storage operators, weighmen, processors, wholesalers and retailers. The intermediaries performing these functions also seek returns commensurating with their investments.

Agricultural Marketing – Foreign Trade of Agricultural Products: Export and Import

Liberalisation of world trade in agriculture has opened up new vistas of growth. India has a competitive advantage in several commodities for agricultural exports, because of near self-sufficiency of inputs, relatively low labour costs and diverse agro-climatic conditions.

These factors have enabled, export of several agricultural commodities over the years such as marine products, cereals, cashew, tea, coffee, spices, fruits and vegetables, castor and tobacco. For certain commodities like basmati rice, India has a niche market access in spite of competition. Agricultural export has a sizeable share of about 18 percent in total exports of the country.

Agricultural imports are about 5 to 6 percent of total imports in the country. Only a few commodities like edible oil, cotton and pulses are imported.

The country has witnessed, over the years, substantial improvement, in the domestic supply of agri-products besides generating export surpluses in commodities such as rice, wheat, sugar, coffee, tea, milk products, fruits, vegetables, tobacco, spices, cashew, marine products, oil meals etc. The country is currently sitting on huge stocks of rice, wheat and sugar, much above the domestic requirements.


Agri-exports account for about 18 per cent of total annual exports of the country. In 2000-01, agri-products valued at more than US $6 billion were exported from the country, 23 per cent of which was contributed by the marine products alone. Marine products, in recent years, have emerged as the single largest contributor to the total agri-exports from the country. Cereals (mostly basmati and non-basmati rice), oil meals, tea, coffee, cashew and spices are the other prominent products, each of which accounts for nearly 5 to 10 per cent of the country’s total agri-exports.

The stagnating agri-exports from India in recent years can be traced partly to distorted domestic prices for products like rice, wheat, oil meals, tea, coffee etc. Weakness in export infrastructure specific to agri-products, such as storage, port handling facilities, lack of large scale processing technology, and export quota restrictions makes Indian supply sources unreliable, and hinder the exploitation of full potential of Indian agri-exports.

A major difficulty faced by India in the international market is the high level of domestic support and export subsidies given by developed countries for their agri-exports.

Hence, it is imperative to evolve concrete strategies to make Indian agriculture competitive and enhance its efficiency. For this purpose, on the one hand we should be seeking substantial reduction in the support given to agriculture by developed countries, on the other hand. Indian agriculture would also require to be supported to maintain and improve its competitiveness.


In 2000-01, the country’s agri-imports were only US $1.8 billion. In recent years, edible oil, accounting for nearly 60 to 70 percent of the value of total agri-imports, has become the single largest item of agri-imports. Raw cashewnut, nuts (almonds from USA) and pulses are among the other dominant agri imports, each of which also accounted for 5 to 10 percent of total agri- imports in recent years.

Sugar and cereals (each of which also accounted for 5 to 10 percent of country’s agri-imports in recent years) have registered substantial decline both in terms of value and share in 2000-01. Agri-imports in 2000-01 constituted only a small proportion of country’s total imports i.e., 3.7 per cent. In recent years, the share of agri-imports in total imports of the country has hovered around 5 to 6 percent.

Contrary to concerns in some circles that liberalization of imports resulting from the lifting of quantitative restrictions on agri-products would lead to surge of agri-imports affecting adversely the Indian farmers, the value of agri-imports in aggregate terms has come down to about US $1.8 billion in 2000-01 from US $2.9 billion in 1998-99 and US $2.8 billion in 1999-2000.

India has considerable flexibility to counter flooding of the Indian market by cheap agri-imports by imposing tariffs (bound rate) under WTO for agri- products, which provide a fair level of protection. The Government, in fact, raised the import tariff for many agri-products such as tea, coffee, pulses and edible oils in 2001-02 Budget.

Countervailing duties can also be imposed to counter actionable subsidies given to agri-products by the other exporting countries, apart from having the option of acting under safeguard provisions to counter surge of imports.

Agricultural growth has been unsteady during the last few years. Large accumulation of rice and wheat stocks, along with a distinct shift in the consumption pattern away from cereals to non-cereals is a stark reminder that the policy focus needs to be re-oriented towards the growth of non-cereal crops viz., oilseeds, pulses, fruits, vegetables and dairying.

Diversification of agricultural production requires development of rural infrastructure – transportation, rural roads, improved and reliable power supply, watershed management, cold storage facilities, and agri-food processing facilities,, quality testing labs and institutional support by way of new market facilities, removal of restrictions on stock limits and agri-product movement.

Emphasis on minimum price support which has benefited only rice and wheat crops at the expense of other crops, and agri-products requires a fresh policy focus so that crop diversification gains momentum.

It is estimated by some economists that every one percent switch in terms of trade in favour of agriculture will result in diversion of about Rs. 8,500 crore annually in favour of agriculture from the non-agriculture sector. This additional rural purchasing power will create a phenomenal effective demand. Promotion of agricultural exports is important, for creating conditions for providing remunerative prices to farm products.

Agricultural Marketing – Basic Facilities for Farmers

In order to have best advantage in marketing of agricultural produce the farmer should enjoy certain basic facilities:

(i) The farmer should have proper information about the future demand of a particular commodity in the market, so that he can plan earlier to sow the seeds of those crops which can get him a fair return.

(ii) Most of the villages are not linked with the mandi or business centres, which are the only means of transport for a farmer. Hence, a proper rural network with all-weather roads are necessary to develop the farmers/rural areas.

(iii) Remote/small village farmers are dependent on other small towns/cities for sale and purchase of outputs or inputs. An efficient road transport system is necessary for all types of rural people/farmers

(iv) The farmer should have proper storage facilities for storing his agricultural produce.

(v) He should have holding capacity, in the sense, that he should be able to wait for times, when he could get better prices for his produce and not dispose of his stocks immediately after the harvest when the prices are very low.

(vi) He should have clear information regarding the market conditions as well as about the ruling prices; otherwise, he may get cheated.

(vii) There should be more organized and regulated markets, where the farmers will not be cheated by the middlemen or intermediaries.

(viii) The number of intermediaries should be less so that the middlemen’s profits are reduced. Which as a result, will increase profits to the farmer.

(ix) The farmer can easily get institutional credit facilities for agriculture and allied activities.

(x) In the event of failure of crops, due to drought or other natural calamities, he should get financial security and crop insurance for his crops.

Agricultural Marketing – Pre-Requisites for Effective Agricultural Marketing: Storage, Finance, Information, Co-Operatives and Transport

1. Storage:

Farmer should have adequate storage facilities. Development of warehousing is essential.

2. Finance:

Farmer should have sufficient holding power, i.e., he should be able to await for favourable prices and he should not be forced to sell his stocks immediately in the village to the trader-cum-money lender even at low prices. Co-operative credit can solve this problem.

3. Information:

Farmer should have up to date market information regarding supply, demand and prices. Only regulated markets and co-operative marketing society can supply market intelligence services.

4. Co-Operatives:

There should be reasonable number of middlemen between the farmer and the consumer. Here again marketing co-operatives can reduce the number of middlemen and assure better prices for agricultural goods.

5. Transport:

Marketing depends upon transport. We must have efficient and economical network of road-rail transport for home trade. Adequate and cheaper transport can widen agricultural markets and offer remunerative prices also.

Agricultural Marketing – Need for Trained Personnel (With List of Courses and Training Programmes)

The term “agricultural marketing” encompasses a wide range of functions, viz., assembling, transportation, storage, processing, grading, sales etc., as needed to offer produce from the farm to the consumer in the required form at the right time and place and at an acceptable price. It also includes arrangements for supplying inputs for production. While discussing training in marketing of agricultural produce, it is important to see the agriculture and food marketing system as an integral whole and not limit the analysis to the first stage of agricultural marketing, i.e., assembling of the produce.

In India, there are 6,983 wholesale agricultural produce markets and about 22,000 primary rural markets. Out of these, 6,738 are operative under Market Regulation Acts. For supervision, Market Committee is constituted for a regulated market having representatives of producers, market functionaries, co-operatives, local bodies, government officials etc., Market Secretary is the Chief Executive Officer and supported by a host of other officials.

The need for trained personnel to manage the entire marketing system including manning of markets is huge. It has been estimated that about 60,000 marketing personnel belonging to senior, middle and junior levels would be required. The demand of trained personnel if the entire gamut of agricultural marketing is taken into consideration would be much higher.

The personnel managing agricultural marketing both in government and private at different levels have varied educational background. Some are from agricultural faculty while others are from science, commerce and even arts. It is, therefore, important that these personnel are trained so that they have at least the basic knowledge of agricultural marketing.

Education (At University Level) of Agricultural Marketing:

Formal training in India, by and large, is being imparted by various universities, particularly the Agricultural Universities and by a network of co­operative training colleges spread all over the country. At present, there are 27 Agricultural Universities conducting on a regular basis the Under-graduate, Post-graduate and doctoral level academic courses in agriculture.

At university level, education in agricultural marketing constitutes a very small component in total course content. Agricultural marketing is treated under agricultural economics. However, the Mysore University is running two-year Post-graduate Masters’ Degree Course in Agricultural Marketing. Likewise, the University of Agriculture Science, Bangalore offers a degree course in Agricultural Marketing & Co-operatives.

Agricultural Universities, however, perform a very useful role in marketing research and in training the farmers through extension activities. There is an imperative need to expose students of agricultural economics to the basic marketing policies, management of food marketing system, logistics relating to agricultural marketing and markets, project formulation and its evaluation, market planning and design, marketing extension service, market intelligence, marketing research, post-harvest technology, etc. in order to widen their horizon of knowledge and to understand basic concepts in agricultural marketing.

Training (In-Service Training Programme):

The Directorate of Marketing and Inspection (DMI) is conducting a number of training programmes to cater to the requirements of middle and junior level marketing personnel.

The objectives of these in-service training programmes are to:

(i) Prepare marketing executives with sound theoretical-cum-practical knowledge for formulation of marketing development projects and evaluation thereof;

(ii) Provide trained and specialized manpower for effective management of the regulated markets;

(iii) Promote standardization and grading of agricultural commodities at producers’ level and expansion of grading of various agricultural/horticultural commodities and livestock products on voluntary basis for internal consumption as well as export;

(iv) Improve the market intelligence and market information service;

(v) Provide trained marketing manpower to the State Agricultural Marketing Departments/Boards for conducting market/marketing surveys and to enable them to carry out problem-oriented researches;

(vi) Spread the benefits of marketing development programmes to the producers through training in market extension;

(vii) Prepare adequate number of trainers for training junior officials of the State Agricultural Marketing Departments/Boards/Co-operatives, etc.; and

(viii) Provide practical-oriented training to the junior level officers of the DMI in pre-shipment inspection and compulsory quality control of agricultural commodities.

Diploma Course in Agricultural Marketing:

Introduced in the year 1956, this is the first complete and comprehensive course started in the country for the middle level personnel of the marketing organizations in the different States. It is a post-graduate course of eleven months duration. The course content of the syllabus includes emphasis on different marketing functions in addition to the theory of economics, prices and commodity studies, with due stress on practicals which also include market surveys, seminars, group discussions and visit to different institutions for the field study. In general, the programme seeks to mould the trainees into general-purpose marketing men who could efficiently put through the various development programmes.

Training for Marketing Secretaries:

This course was started in the year 1957 for the managers including supervisors of the regulated markets. It is oriented to equip the market committee personnel to administer the regulated markets more efficiently. The duration of the course, initially of five months, is now of four months.

The training is simultaneously given at two Centres, viz., Hyderabad and Lucknow. The syllabus includes in-depth study of the provisions of the Agricultural Produce Markets Act, Rules and bye-laws in different States, manner of their enforcement etc., in addition to the basic knowledge of marketing.

Training of Grading Supervisors:

This programme aims at imparting necessary training to the supervisory staff at lower level, in charge of commercial grading centres run by market committees, co-operative societies, etc. The course includes principles and functions of marketing, sampling techniques, quality evaluation and grading etc., practicals include analysis of different agricultural commodities and field visits. The course is of three months duration.

Diploma Course in Marketing of Livestock and Livestock Products:

The course was started in 1955. It is a specialized course in marketing of livestock and livestock products for middle level executives. Officers from the Animal Husbandry/Veterinary Departments of the States are sponsored for this programme. The duration of the course is of six months.

Training Course for Graders:

Started in the year 1962, this was originally a combined course for graders and assessors and supervisors at lower level, the duration being three months. The candidates are sponsored by the state authorities from Market Committees, Co-operative Societies, etc., the programme has been decentralized from 1970 and now the course is organized in the state of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in the regional languages.

Special Course in Grading of Commodities:

These include training programmes in grading of cotton, grading of tobacco, grading of jute, ad hoc and short-term courses in grading of ‘Kapas’, cleaning and processing of animal casings, etc.

Senior Level Training Programme in Agricultural Marketing:

This is a specialized course now condensed to two weeks duration for the senior level marketing executives from the marketing organizations at the state and central levels and enables the participants to exchange ideas with the experts in the field of agricultural marketing. The participants are also given an opportunity to exchange ideas through paper presentations and group discussions.

In-Service Training Course for Junior Officers of DMI:

This course is tailored to benefit the junior level executives of the DMI in their field assignments. It is an intensive course of three months duration.

Market Intelligence and News Services:

The primary objective of the training course is to improve and strengthen market intelligence and news services in India. The duration of the course is three weeks and is being organized since 1986 at Nagpur.

Market Extension Service Course:

A short-term training programme of three weeks duration was introduced in 1986 at Nagpur. The training course aims at improving techniques in assimilation of market information and to imbibe consciousness amongst the consumers about graded and certified products.

Training in Analytical Technology:

The DMI provides training facilities to chemists in the analysis of ghee, vegetable oils, butter, groundnut, spices honey, etc., in its laboratories. This, facility is available to the chemists of the private entrepreneurs approved by the DMI under the statute for grading as well as to the chemists of the State Governments, Commercial Laboratories, Co-operative Label – stories, etc. Besides, the chemists of the DMI are also provided in-service training.

Training in Pre-Shipment Inspection and Quality Control:

The DMI is enforcing pre-shipment inspection and quality control in respect of a number of agricultural commodities. Junior level officers of the Directorate are given a short-term training in grading of important commodities like whole spices, walnuts, tobacco, etc.

Training Programmes Conducted by the State Marketing Boards:

Some of the State Marketing Boards are conducting courses for training of marketing personnel working in the organizations as well as in regulated markets. These programmes are generally in the nature of orientation/refresher course. While a few courses are conducted regularly, others are ad hoc in nature and include training in the areas of general agricultural marketing, grading, market intelligence, etc.

Training Programmes Conducted by the Co-Operative Training Colleges:

In India, a three-tier co-operative training structure is functioning under the administrative control of the National Council of Co-operative Training (NCCT). At the national level, there is the Vaikunthlal Mehta National Institute of Co-operative Management, Pune, for training senior and key personnel of co-operative institutions and co-operative departments.

Seventeen Co­operative Training Colleges are functioning at the State level to cater to the training requirements of middle level personnel. At the district level, there are 87 Junior Training Centres to provide training to the junior level personnel of co-operative institutions.

Government of India provides financial assistance to the NCCT, Vaikunthlal Mehta Institute and the 17 training colleges, while the state governments and the State Co-operative Unions share expenditure of the junior training centres. Since 1985-86, the National Co-operative Development Corporation is also implementing a training programme TOPIC (Training of Personnel in Co-operatives) for the training of co-operative personnel.

Training Programmes Conducted by the Other Organisations and Institutions:

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) organizes a four-week course in procurement, storage management, quality control and food grains marketing for its own personnel at its Central Training Institute, New Delhi.

The Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) provides in-service training to its own staff, posted in various warehouses. The programme includes technical and managerial aspects relating to grading, storage, preservation and management of warehouses. The duration of the programme ranges from four to six weeks. In addition, refresher courses of one week duration are also organized, as and when needed.

The Indian Grain Storage Institute (IGSI), Hapur, with its two field stations, also organizes training course of eight weeks duration in storage and inspection of food grains for the departmental nominees of various organizations engaged in handling and marketing of food grains. Besides, a short-term training course of two to four weeks duration is also organized for the nominees from the concerned departments in the area of handling, storage and grading of food grains.

The Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) Mysore, is a pioneering institute in India which provides training in various aspects on food science and technology including post-harvest technology of various agricultural products. The programmes are mainly arranged in response to the requests received from the concerned organizations.

The Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP), Bombay, an autonomous organization organizes a Post-graduate/Diploma programme in packaging of two years duration. Besides, it also conducts a certificate programme for three months duration on packaging, and an Executive Development Programme of one or two day duration on specific packaging system.

The National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD), Hyderabad also organizes two short-term training programmes of six days duration, viz., ‘Rural Marketing’ and ‘Planning and Management of Agribusiness Co-operatives’.

The Centre for Agricultural Marketing (CAM) has also been established in 1988 by the Government of India in order to supplement the training needs in the field of agricultural marketing.

In addition to the above training programmes, the Bureau of Indian Standards also organizes national and international level training programmes in standardization and certification of quality of manufactured goods.

The Directorate of Extension, Government of India regularly arranges training programmes covering different aspects of agriculture. Some of these courses are relevant to agricultural marketing. The training programmes are usually arranged in collaboration with Research Institutes or Agricultural Universities. Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi, conducts regular courses for the benefit of public as well as for the organized sector.

The Reserve Bank of India has established a college of Agriculture Banking to impart training in financial matters pertaining to agriculture and related fields. Likewise other financial institutions have their own training facilities. National Productivity Council organizes training courses from time to time for senior personnel.

National Informatics Centre, New Delhi is responsible at the central level to arrange training courses in application of computers and allied subjects. The Spices Board in collaboration with the States and DMI arranges training courses for farmers covering post-harvest operations. A few trade organizations like the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) also organize training courses for its members.

In-Service Training Overseas:

As a part of on-going training programmes in agricultural marketing, officials are deputed to foreign countries to acquire skill and knowledge in specialized fields. For many of these courses, expenses for the participants are borne by the host country as a policy matter of that government or as a part of bilateral agreement. Occasionally, scholarships are also available to candidates for such courses.

On return, trained officials are entrusted with special assignments. They are also expected to train other personnel locally. At times experts from other countries including FAO are invited. Exchange of experts help in gaining first-hand experience in critical areas as well as about developmental programmes of other countries.

Agricultural Marketing – Agricultural Research

Agricultural research is a vital input for planned growth and sustainable development of agriculture in the country. India had for the first time a record production of 202.5 million tonnes during 1998-99; the production of rice and wheat was 84.7 and 71.0 million tonnes respectively.

With these production levels, India has emerged as the second largest producer of wheat and rice in the world. Production of pulses, oilseeds, potato, milk, egg and fish has also been very high, placing India amongst the front-runners in their production. Generation, testing and adoption of improved technologies have played a major role in enhancing the production and productivity of agricultural goods.

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is the apex organization at the national level for promoting science and technology programmes in the agricultural research and education. The ICAR was set up on 16 July 1929 as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act 1860, on the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Agriculture. It was reorganized twice, in 1965 and 1973. The headquarters of the ICAR is located at Krishi Bhavan, New Delhi.

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), being an apex scientific organization in agriculture at national level, plays a crucial role in promoting and augmenting agricultural research, education and demonstration of new technologies as frontline extension activities.

Its objectives are to enhance productivity, profitability, stability and sustainability of the agricultural system.

Agricultural Marketing – Steps Taken for Improvisation

1. Creation of planned network of warehouses at all markets.

2. Linking co-operative credit with farming, marketing and processing.

3. Development of rural transport.

4. Adequate publicity to market information.

5. Stabilisation of food grain prices.

6. Government organisations, such as Food Corporation of India, Cotton Corporation of India, etc., for marketing agricultural produce in a big way.

7. Marketing Surveys of various agricultural products were undertaken and these were duly published. These surveys revealed the various problems encountered in agricultural marketing and pointed out remedies to solve those problems.

8. The government took great interest in standardisation and grading of agricultural produce. Agmark goods have a wider mar­ket and can command better prices also. There is a Central Quality Control Laboratory and eight regional laboratories to test the quality and purity of produce.

9. By 1985-86 there were over 5,600 regulated markets in India.

10. Warehousing facilities have been provided by the govern­ment and co-operative marketing societies.

Agricultural Finance:

Rural Credit Survey Report strongly recommended the accelerated growth of institutional credit mainly in the form of co­operative credit with active state participation. Till 1950, co-oper­atives and government played an extremely poor role. In 1950-51, co­operatives were providing hardly 3 per cent of rural credit.

By 1970-71, their share went up to over 23 per cent. Institutional credit (credit by co-operatives, commercial banks and regional rural banks) was increased from Rs.2, 550 crores in 1979-80 to Rs.5, 810 crores in 1984-85. By 1989-90.it would grow to the level of Rs.12.570 crores as per the 7th Plan.

The integrated scheme of rural credit advocated by the Rural Credit Survey Report was based on three basic principles:

1. Active participation by the Government in the co-operatives at all levels.

2. Perfect co-ordination between credit and other economic activities, e.g., farming, marketing, processing, and so on. Production, finance, marketing, and processing must be integrated and co-ordinated so that we can ensure package deal to cover all credit needs of farmers easily.

3. Management of co-operatives must be in the hands of trained and efficient salaried personnel who will provide professional management of co-operatives at all levels Co-operatives like any other private enterprise must have able and competent managers.

The State was called upon to participate in the co-operative movement not only in finance but also in the provision of professio­nal management. The State was called upon to participate in the promotion, organisation, finance and management of marketing and. processing co-operatives.

The multi-purpose co-operatives were advocated to look after all inter-related activities of Indian agriculture in an integrated manner.

Agricultural Marketing – Defects: Lack of Organisation, Forced Sales, Existence of Large Number of Middlemen, Multiplicity of Market Charges and a Few More

1. Lack of Organization:

There is lack of organization among producers. Producers are small and scattered. They have no collective organization of their own to protect their interests.

2. Forced Sales:

The formers are forced to sell their products due to:

i. poverty and prior indebtedness.

ii. Lack of storage facilities.

iii. Time factor, particularly with regard to perishable goods.

3. Existence of Large Number of Middlemen:

There are a large number of intermediaries or middlemen between the producers and the consumers. These middlemen sell the produce to the consumers at a higher price and give lower returns to the producers.

Approximately 50% of the price paid by the consumer goes to middlemen.

4. Multiplicity of Market Charges:

The producers pay numerous and various marketing charges. They are more than 20% of the income of the produce. They pay market charges at different levels such as – commission to the dalal, weigh men charges, brokerage, charges of labourers who help in unloading the cart, etc., apart from the deduction for impurities in the produce by the wholesaler.

5. Multiplicity of Weights and Measures:

There is lack of standard weights and measures. Weights made of sticks, stones, bits of old iron are commonly used in the villages and markets.

The multiplicity of weights and measures employed has many defects:

i. It makes supervision very difficult.

ii. It gives opportunity to cheat the producers.

6. Adulteration:

Due to adulteration, the quality of the produce is reduced. Even the good produces are subjected to customary inclusion of impurities. The adulterants, such as – papaya seeds, are mixed with pepper; chilly powder is mixed with red brick powder supari with sawdust; ghee with vanaspathi; and tea dust with sawdust. Medicines are also adulterated.

7. Inadequate Storage Facility:

Storage facility is far below the requirements in rural and urban areas. The loss due to inadequate storage has been estimated to be 5-15% in weight and quality. Grains lose weights due to the change of weather. Crops like jowar, pulses and maize are found to be infested with insects even before harvest.

8. Lack of Transport Facility:

There are bad roads which lead to loss during transportation and cause strain to the animals. The freight policy followed by railways in India is also not satisfactory. Railways do not have the facility for quick and safe transport of perishable products.

9. Absence of Grading and Standardization:

There is no standard grade for important commodities like rice and wheat in the whole country. The ungraded mixed qualities are sold at low prices.

10. Lack of Market Information:

Most of the farmers are illiterates and they are ignorant of the accurate prices ruling in the market. They depend upon inaccurate information.

11. Lack of Financial Facility:

Most of the financial needs of the farmers in India are met by village moneylenders; the moneylenders come forward, purchase the produce by paying low prices under the loan agreement, and again issue loans for further cultivation or for their family needs. The loan is advanced on the condition that the produce will be sold to them or through them.

Agricultural Marketing – Measures: Establishment of Regulated Market, Use of Standard Weights and Measures, Storage Facility and a Few Other Measures

The defects of agricultural marketing can be removed by the following measures:

i. Establishment of regulated market – Many defects of agricultural marketing and malpractices of middlemen can be removed by the establishment of regulated markets.

ii. Use of standard weights and measures – Cultivators and purchasers are safeguarded against cheating by false or underweight by the use of standard weights and measures.

iii. Storage and warehousing facilities – Increase in storage and warehousing facilities is necessary to remove the defects in agricultural marketing. Warehousing is the protector of national wealth.

iv. Improvement in transport facilities – For proper marketing of agricultural goods, adequate and appropriate transport facilities are very important.

v. Provision of marketing information – The important providers of market information are: private arrangements for traders, newspapers, government publications, regulated markets, radio and TV and cooperative societies.

vi. Development of cooperative marketing – The defects of agricultural marketing are removed by the development of cooperative marketing.