How the Thought Process Started?
Just a few days ago I had come across a article in Times of India on “Marathwada women’s organic farms sow new seeds” it was basically about hardships and difficulties faced by a woman named Shrimati Mangal Waghmare from Marathwada Maharashtra who earns about 25k INR a month selling organic produce grown on her farm and what led to her in taking such a huge step.
Which comes to my next point on why not give Smt Mangal a good Digital Education on how she can find a larger customer base who is in need of pesticide-free good organic vegetables. We are living in a India were farmers due lack of adequate support, lesser profit margin and Debt ridden are committing suicides. This should not continue further as Agriculture is the Backbone of our nation, it has proven time and over again. Just a small fact to justify the above statement:
India accounts for 7.68 percent of total global agricultural output. GDP of Industry sector is $495.62 billion and world rank is 12.
Contribution of Agriculture sector in Indian economy is much higher than world’s average (6.1%).
So Organic Farming in India is still in its infant stage due to low awareness at the producer level on the difference between conventional farming and organic farming. At the consumer level there is confusion between natural and organic products and limited understanding of the health benefits of organic food products.
What is Organic Farming???
Organic farming is a method of crop and livestock production that involves not to use pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics and growth hormones. The principal goal of organic production is to develop enterprises that are sustainable and harmonious with the environment.
Top 4 Tips to increase organic farming through Digital Marketing
Tip 1: Educate the Organic farmers on Digital Marketing tools/ Benefits
This is the basic initiative that any private or government organization can take as to educate farmers to the benefits they can get through the internet by using Digital Marketing. The cost effectiveness they can gain through Digital Marketing as it is a Low Cost Marketing. Here is where the govt has to play a major role by giving free/low cost internet access/basic smartphone to the registered organic farmers under various govt initiated schemes like Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana/ Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana/ NABARD etc.
Tip 2: To have all the schemes/services UNDER 1 UMBRELLA
There should be a one-point of source for the farmers to access like a mobile app (Ecommerce Platform) wherein he/she can get information of various schemes and products available like organic seeds, fertilizers for better soil fertility, search for distributors/wholesalers, current pricing index for better profit margin, tracking Delivery status, weather forecast linking with weather stations, create a discussion forum for sending queries and suggestions. The Government here must rope in agricultural scientists and international research institutions. The App should majorly be in Hindi/English and customized to various regional languages as well for better usage and traffic.
Tip 3: Using “The Right Keywords and Phrases”
By using the right keywords and phrases through Digital Marketing Tool SEM, SEO the organic farmer can tap the right set of customers directly without involving any middlemen who mostly eat away most of the profits and can be a successful technique by targeting the right audience. Again this can only be done through proper Digital education and knowledge or through hiring a Digital Marketer to do the needful.
Some of the “Keywords or Phrases” which can be used:
Organic Fruits and Vegetables
Pesticide-free Fruits and Vegetables
100% Natural and Healthy
Tip 4: Not to Focus only on Rural Areas
The focus should be to have more Organic farmers from all parts of the country like Tier1, Tier 2 Cities, Towns and even Urban areas where there lots of farmers and housewives who are interested and keen in doing the same (house terrace gardening). If the Target audience are Housewives the strategy can be positioned to promote Women Empowerment and creating a campaign like “Createyourownfood” this can be done through creating a Facebook page whereby adding value to the the content by posting pictures, videos on tips to improve organic farming, availability of organic seeds, articles on organic farming through personal experiences. The outcome will be more engagement of women in Organic farming through Facebook, as there more number of women users on Facebook. The same can be done through twitter and Instagram for eg #createyourownfood. Video Marketing is another unexplored and upcoming Digital Marketing tool wherein a Farmer can upload his current Organic Produce on any social media platform thereby creating and engagement, awareness, reach and Demand.
The Ultimate Goal
Through Integration of Digital Marketing and Organic farming these 3 important Goals/Objectives can be achieved
Using Digital Marketing Tools an Organic Farmer can easily have a better Reach and Accessibility to his/her potential customers, thereby increasing the production Organic produce with the desired Demands from the Market.
In all the aspects Digital Marketing if used wisely is economical for a farmer as he can utilize those profits for the Research and Development in Organic Farming. As Digital marketing tools are cost effective makes the farmer directly in contact with the consumer/retailer.
Organic Farming if helped by Digital Marketing can have a acceleration in production of Organic produce, better reach to the relevant consumers, more number of Digital users in Rural Market using Digital Tools/Medium.
A Few Laudable Outcomes
Today, Sikkim is an organic state with 75,000 ha of land under organic cultivation based on an initiative that started in 2003.
Meghalaya aims to convert 200,000 ha under organic farming by 2020.
Kerala has more than 100,000 farmers practising organic farming and 10 cooperatives promoting the sector. The Centre’s announcement for allocation of 1 billion for organic market development and 3 billion for the participatory guarantee scheme is commendable.
Organic Farming can be Boon for a few like Smt. Mangal Waghmare from Marathwada but if implemented wisely through a low cost medium like Digital Marketing it can be a boon for many and further Contributing to the Agriculture sector for Indian economy’s Growth Story.