The Importance of Market Research in Agribusiness Ventures

Hanks Saisai

Namibia has numerous established farmers who own and operate successful agribusiness ventures that are involved in the primary production of crops, livestock and poultry. Sometimes these ventures become specialized in the processing or semi processing of agricultural commodities because of having many years of experience and always being informed about the industry’s condition. Market research can simply be defined as the action or activity of gathering information about consumers’ needs and preferences.

For any aspiring agribusiness owner, there is always plenty of opportunities that can be turned into a successful business venture. For one to be a successful owner of an agribusiness venture, it is of great importance to carry out a market research to get an informed view of what to expect when venturing into agricultural businesses.

Market research has proven to be a key aspect that each aspiring business owner must undertake before setting up the actual business, it has several informative guidelines that will help to sustain a business. Firstly, market research advises the farmer about what product he or she must focus on producing and know who the consumer of that specific product will be. Market research further helps a farmer determine how much to charge for his/her product, how much of the product must be produced. Lastly, a market research assists farmers to develop a production plan that will always ensure that the customers’ demands are satisfied. A good example would be that of a farmer who has conducted market research in Windhoek and he/she discovers that there is a demand for fresh table eggs for households in the suburb of Hochland Park, he/she will then focus on rearing for example Lohman brown hens that produce eggs.

This market research will assist the farmer to understand who the current producers of eggs are, how much they are charging and where they buy their inputs such as feeds and vaccines. It further helps the farmer identify the gaps that current producers are not filling or catering for. For example the delivery service of eggs to clients, could give you an edge over producers when you charge the same price but go the extra mile of delivering the product (eggs) to the doorstep of your customer.

Additionally, when you have done proper market research, you as a producer of an agriculture product will be informed as to what form of the product the customer requires.

Market research addresses the issue of ensuring that customer needs are met by delivering the product in its desired form. When selling table eggs to residents of Hochland Park, you will be informed by market research to know which households demand a tray of 30 eggs biweekly, weekly or daily. This will help you as an egg producer to know how the production cycle of eggs can be properly set up to ensure that the clients who need eggs daily, weekly or biweekly get to receive their products at their desired convenience.

Finally, always ensure you do a thorough market research when thinking of setting up an Agribusiness venture as this has a major role to play when you as a farmer wants to havea sustainable income generating enterprise.

• Hanks Saisai is a Technical Advisor: Crops & Poultry at Agribank

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