As an agri-prenuer, coming up with a product whether as a farmer or a processor is usually the easiest part, getting the product to the consumer is the toughest.
Once you have come up with the product, the consumer needs to know about it to buy it for you to earn income from your agribusiness.
There are several ways to market your produce. Traditionally, one could use conventional media channels like radio, TV and newspapers, but these remain out of reach for many start-ups.
Over the years, advancement of technology has brought game-changers in the name of social media and online marketplaces. These include social media channels like WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter and online marketplaces like Mkulima Young.
For agro-prenuers and other start-ups, these channels have become a blessing as they not only reach many people but they are also free, if not cost-effective.
So where does one start? You need to have the product and make adverts or messages that sell them.
The adverts, marketing materials or messages should be simple, short, easily understandable and address needs of consumer to capture their interest.
In the case of Mkulima Young, you take a photo of your produce and describe it, add your location, phone number, the price and post it on the site. All these can be done with your smartphone in a minute while at your agribusiness.
Savvy agribusiness owners can add videos, which helps to give consumers trust -as they say, seeing is believing. While selling online, be honest to the buyer and ensure that you do due diligence so that you don’t lose your money to fraudsters.
Thanks to the online platforms, you can now sale your produce directly to the consumers, thus, avoiding brokers.
For those adding value, like on milk and maize as the many beneficiaries of Vijabiz project are doing, ensure your products are in attractive packaging that the consumer can remember and identify with.
The youth economic empowerment through agribusiness project in Kenya is implemented by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the USTADI Foundation and funded by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
All value-added products should be certified by the Kenya Bureau of Standards to enable your access formal markets like supermarkets.
As an agri-prenuer, even as you market your produce online, you can also find your target groups at road shows and farmer field events like agricultural shows.
At such events, provide an opportunity for consumers to experience the product. If possible, offer a lower unit of your product to provide an initial experience.
All said, some agri-prenuers find it harder to price their products. So what you should consider? First is the level of competition, the perceived value of the product, market demand, product development stages and the target customers.