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19 April, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Agro-based Product Marketing

Stanley Sumon Rodrick, Hamidul Islam, Sahin Akter Sarker
Agro-based Product Marketing

Local manufacturers of Bangladesh enjoy enormous competitive advantage compared to many other countries in producing and exporting a wide range of agro-based products to the world market due to substantial fertile soil, favourable weather conditions and cheap labour.

Available information suggests that both urbanisation and changing consumption patterns are having strong impact on the food chains and large-scale agro-industry. Due to economic growth and changing taste and fashion of the urban middle-income groups of Bangladesh, we have witnessed an increased demand for products, such as livestock, fish, poultry, dairy, fruits and vegetables. Combined with technological changes, these have transformed the nature of domestic food processing, resulting in a shift to the purchase of more pre-processed produce of agro-based products.

Agro-processing has become one of the key sources for alleviating poverty of rural people by offering rural employment. On the other hand, urban consumers are becoming more concerned about tracing the origin of their food source and hence, trying to make a connection between safer food and better health. Moreover, agro-based products are one of the potential contributors to the country’s economy.

Thus, a course on agro-based products would encapsulate all the vital areas of this dominant, present-day marketing platform. Significant issues, like data collection of agro-based products, commercialisation of farm produces, effective value creation of agro-based commodities, supply chain management, price determination, financing for farmers, frugal innovations at grass-root levels, all these are important and new avenues for business students.

Considering this trend, to enhance the knowledge and skills of the students for the job market, the Department of Marketing, Faculty of Business Administration, American International University-Bangladesh (AIUB), in collaboration with Agri-Business for Trade Competitiveness Project (ATC-P),  introduced two new marketing courses, titled ‘Agro-based Product Marketing’ and ‘Product Innovation and Management’, at the undergraduate level in November 2016.

To enrich the contents of the course, the ‘Agro-based Product Marketing’ team, comprising of three faculty members from the Department of Marketing, visited different retail and wholesale market establishments, livestock farms, milk collection and processing factories, fish hatcheries, poultry farms, frozen and ready-to-cook food processing factories, cold storages, etc, which are located mostly in rural and sub-urban areas of the country.

The team conducted different focused group based discussions with the farmers, traders, wholesalers, village retailers, processors, transporters, and other channel members to collect information on the variable issues of the value chain activities regarding the prospects and challenges of the agro-based sectors in the Bangladesh market perspective. The findings from the field observations and surveys were then incorporated in the development of the chapter contents and writing of case studies on the diverse issues of the respective course.

According to the Yearbook of Agricultural Statistics – 2016, published by Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, agriculture is one of the significant employment sectors in Bangladesh, contributing almost 17 percent to the country’s GDP and employing more than 45 percent of the total work force. With greater knowledge and capabilities, the youth can capitalise on such a sector and enhance their career prospects in different fields of manufacturing and processing industries, or further develop their prospects on service-based industries, such as modern retailing, distribution and delivery systems, research firms, etc. Such initiatives by our youth will not only enhance their livelihood standards, but also contribute to the national economy and the development of the socio-economic environment.

The writers are assistant professors, Department of Marketing, Faculty of Business

Administration, AIUB.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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