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Chapter: Business Science : Rural Marketing : An Overview of Rural Marketing

Rural Areas Requirement

Considering the importance of agriculture and rural majority the nine five year plans have made considerable progress in improving the agriculture sector and the rural farmer.

Rural areas requirement


Considering the importance of agriculture and rural majority the nine five year plans have made considerable progress in improving the agriculture sector and the rural farmer. The rural requirements vary from state to state and the priorities also change. Rural requirements are listed under:


Improved seeds and fertilisers


Increased means and methods of irrigation Multipurpose farming


Use of modern farming equipments and methods Warehousing and preservation of agri-produce.


Marketing development and remunerative prices for the produce Improvements in pest control and preservation of crops.


R & D work and benchmarking with the best agricultural practices, yields in the world

Training of Farmers



Increased investments and credit facilities


Small land holdings to be consolidated and improvements in tenancy.


Animal heath and veterinary facilities.


Literacy of farmers and families.


Develop village agro-based industries/cottage and village industries Population control


Crop insurance Health of farmers


Environment friendly agriculture methods Water availability management


Remunerative price for milk and milk products and Provision for subsidiary occupations and incomes

 Problems in rural marketing


Unevenly Scattered Population –The spread of population in about 4000 cities and towns is to the extent of 25% and the balance is in six lakh villages. Only 6300 villages have a population of more than 500. This makes the marketers go through a lot of difficulty to reach out to the rural masses effectively.


Underdeveloped People and Underdeveloped Market – Since 1947 a number of initiatives have been taken to improve the quality of life in rural areas. In 1947 the rank of India in terms of poverty, unemployment and level of development was 86 in the world but in 1991 it reached the level of 123. The situation has further worsened and the 1996 report on Human Development Index shows that India rank 136th in 156 countries of the world.


Lack of proper Physical Communication Facilities –In India only 50% of the road length is provided with a proper surface. About 36% of the villages in the country do not have road connection and over 65% of our villages are without all-weather road. Thus the road grid makes distribution cost higher, as the road grid as a whole suffers from serious capacity constraints, delays, congestions, fuel wastage and higher vehicle operating costs, marketers face a lot of problems in distribution of products. Low per capita incomes – Share of rural income accounted for 55.6 percent with 74.6 percent of country‘s  population, thus reducing the demand of expensive products.


Many Languages and Dialects –In India, the number of languages and dialects vary widely from state to state, region to region. The number of languages spoken is only 16, the total number of dialects is estimated to be around 850. The messages to be delivered in the local languages and dialects are a big problem to the marketers.


Low level of literacy –This leads to the problem of communication for promotion

purposes. In this case, print medium becomes less effective and the dependence on audio visual messages is more relevant in rural areas.


Logistics Problems –The rural markets have few selling points like retailers, co-operatives, haats and melas. Lack of infrastructure for storage and handling and limited  transport facilities act as a constraint for marketing action.


Low Exposure to Market Stimuli –In rural areas, the rural people have low exposure to branded products, low product exposure, limited sources of information and learning which creates big challenge to the marketers to stimulate the rural consumers.

Less Retail Outlets –Due to less capital, the shops in the villages have limited availability of stock and limited or a few range of branded products to sell to rural people and these shops keep only fast moving items with a number of fake brands.


Seasonal Demand –As 70% of rural population depends on agriculture and most of them with small land holdings highly dependent of natural environment that is rain, if the rains and weather conditions are good and on time the farmers will get good harvest whichleads to good income, otherwise, if there is shortage of water the demand may be minimal.


Traditional Life –Life in rural areas is still governed by customs and traditions and people do not easily adopt new practices. For eg. Even rich and educated class of farmers do not wear jeans or branded shoes in most of the rural areas.


Rural Demand


Some well Established products


Pressure cooker Cooking utensils Batteries


Cycle, bikes, scooters Radio/tapes


Pesticides, fertilizers Tea


Toothpowder/paste Sewing Machine Artificial Jewelry Medicines


Tobacco & Products


Bathing Soaps, washing cakes, washing powder Cell phones









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