Suitable preparation of the farm products is sine-quo-mon for their better marketing. But in our country there are several defects in the preparation of the farm produce for the market.
The important defects in Farm Products are :
(a) Carelessness in market preparation ;
(b) Harvesting of immature crops ;
(c) Lack of system of quality grading according to the standard grades ;
(d) Wilful adulteration with extraneous matter ;
(e) Defective methods of storage ;
(f) Use of defective containers ;
(g) Shortage of resources and materials needed for market preparation, for example, modern ginneries for cotton, willowing machines for wool, centrifugal machines for khandesari (sugar); and (h) absence of standard methods of preperation as a guidance for producers and dealers, etc.
These defects mainly result from the producer’s ignorance of proper methods of market prepararation, producer’s weak financial position and shortage of resource and consumer’s apathy towards quality produce in the way of higher prices.
Measures For Rectifying the Defects
The following measures may be adopted for the rectification of the defects in market preparation of agricultural commodities in Bangladesh :
(1) Extensive education services should be orgainsed to educate the producers on proper methods of market preparation. Those organisations should give full demonstration as well as distribute popular pamphlets on improved methods of market preparation. These pamphlets should be prepared by the beneficient departments concerned.
(2) Quality standards including grade specifications should be laid down by Govermment for important produce and the producers and dealers acquainted with them through appropriate channels.
(3) Effective demand for the purchase of graded produce should be created through a wide publicity campaign as well as urging the Government departments like Hospitals, Jails, Army, etc to buy graded produce only. While the popularisation of the graded produce inside the country would be on voluntary basis, the enforcement of grade standards for exportable commodities should be made compulsory.
(4) Up-to-date methods of preparing produce for market should be compiled in the form of popular pamphlets and distributed among the producers and traders.
(5) The Government Departments concerned should help the producers and traders in procuring necessary equipment for market preparation.
(6) As a general rule, efforts should be made to organise producers’ co-operatives, which will not only provide the members with credit facilities but also with technical know-how and equipment needed for better market preparation.
(7) Since the method of preparation of different farm produce involves scientific investigations, necessary research work should be organised for laying down grade specifications as well as designing improved methods of market preparation.
Multiplicity of Middlemen in Agricultural Marketing
There are a number of intermediaries operating between the producer and the consumer each of whom is anxious to slice off some part of the consumer’s price with consequent reduction in the grower’s share. Small marketable surplus of the individual growers and their disorganised conditions, undeveloped communication system, predominance of local customs, traditional conservatism of the grower, etc, explain the multiplicity of middlemen who can not be eliminated in their entirety but their number can be reduced with consquent reduction in marketing cost and increase in producer’s price.
The services rendered by the imtermediaries are far from satisfactory in our country. They appropriate a high margin of profit, taking advantage of the disabilities of the growers. Besides they also indulge in a number of malpractices e.g, manipulation in weights, underestimation of the quality of the produce, etc., which deprive the producer of his legitimate share in the consumer’s price. Sometimes, they also indulge in undesirable activities like admixture of foreign materials, water, etc.