The Report gives an overview of the situation of scarcity in rural community with respect to rural marketing due to COVID-19 situation. Different sub community like Farmers, migrant Labourer, FPO, Dairy farmers, APMC, Rural households, Shop owners etc face interrelated challenges which can be solved with proper linkages between the whole Rural community and networking with the outside markets. Also in the current lockdown Technology can be major player in improvising the market.
The report introduces us to the present situation going in India due to COVID-19. The Indian economy is badly hit, and thus the Rural economy. Rural market seems to ne collapsing due to various restrictions in the market. The entire value chain is disturbed. The different actors like producer, buyer, seller, middle men etc all are being affected in various degrees. Overall the scarcity is there with the producer and seller both because market is collapsing with new challenges and emerging out of it is a great deal for now.
The Market player’s government, private players, consumer, producer all needs to adjust and build up a new system which is feasible and sustainable for present and upcoming times.
It is also a time when rural community could stand for better, have their own made market which give them more opportunity then challenges. There is a need to adjust with the problems and come with new solutions which can solve their livelihood issues.
Rural community are the worst hit among the COVID-19. Every aspect of their livelihood is getting deteriorated. Most important their Purchasing power is getting affected. As it’s a known fact Rural community is a producer and consumer itself. So if consumption is somehow affected, no doubt production will be affected too.
There are some visible changed consumer behaviour during this Covid-19 like
Panic buying – Sudden stocking up of grocery materials like toothpaste, soaps, oil, medicines, spices, detergents, toiletries. And many more even in rural areas
Money discharge from ATM – especially by farmers for future purchase
Stocking of certain items
Local Brand acceptance due to unavailability of certain known brand products
These are causing changes or disruption in the supply demand balance and thus gap is created which is unfilled, also it is being exploited .Price is rising of some commodity while some commodity are facing price decline irrespective of their importance.
Scarcity in Rural areas are increasing day by day during the lockdown. The dimensions of which are discussed below related to different sectors, aspects of their life.
|Farmer as a||Consumer||Producer|
|Seed , Fertiliser, Pesticides, Insecticide, Diesel , harvesting tools , jute bags, wage labour,||Crops (wheat , mustard, barley,), Fruits , Vegetables,|
APMC (Agricultural Produce & Livestock Market Committee) closing down
Rural community is facing scarcity and price fluctuation like never before, this uncertainty of supply, demand and information is causing unnecessary havoc. Thus now more than ever is the time to give a new direction to rural consumer, producer making them not only know how to make but know how to sell.
Day to day challenges faced by Rural community are as follows:
- Unavailability of grocery items in shops, decreasing old stocks day by day leading to increase in prices, less discount.
- Counterfeit product pushing by seller as consumer is not aware and reluctant due to lockdown immobility
- Limited shops thus limited products, substitute items being sold
- Timing of shop opening is also an issue creating consumer in confusion and fatigue to buy.
- Hygiene products are unavailable which is now demand in Rural areas as well
As the product unavailability is an issue, but it can be an opportunity to put Theory of Trial practically. We now more than ever can have locally made product,
reduces cost of transportation,
give livelihood opportunity
use of local resources available
income provision to rural areas as well
SHG women’s who know how to make Soaps, Agarbatti, Mask, Spice mix, local homemade products, sanitiser, hand wash,pickle,Chips using local ingredient fits into the gap created by COVID-19 in market. These essential product that can be made at home for subsistence and selling purpose also. These can easily be sold in local market and due to unavailability of other branded products these product could become brand of their own. Even buyers will buy as it’s easily available and fits in their pocket.
The Acceptability will be high
Availability will be in local areas
Affordable range of village pockets and low budget
Awareness must be created through proper marketing
( 7 Ps of the marketing in next page)
Marketing of Rural produce
Perishable Dairy products like Milk, Paneer, Curd, Chena etc
Challenge: One of the most affected area is Poultry, Fishery etc
- The information asymmetry about sudden Bird flu and COVID-19 causes human created havoc. It had caused huge loss.
- In many areas Chickens were released free, whereas somewhere sold at Rs.20 – 30 per kilos which is a huge loss.
- People stop consuming whereas seasonal festivals also added to it
Opportunity: Eggs being a major part of diet, can be part of a valuable chain which is ongoing in this Covid-19 situation.
Eggs can be procured at a min price by Government agency/ Set up for poultry management. Then these can be taken to a local inventory /warehouse setup nearby in towns. These can be added to the stocks for distribution items (Rice, pulses,oil,soaps etc) given as ration to villages, migrant people, BPL ration package. Distribution can be done thereafter’
- This model below needs technical assistance as online information has to be stored and transferred thus digitisation use is an added advantage here.
Rural Migrant population
Immediate Payment issues with Farmers
- Covid-19: Indian Farmers, Consumers Suffer As Lockdown Disrupts Supply Chain
Reuters – https://www.indiatoday.in/coronavirus-outbreak/story/coronavirus-indian-farmers-consumers-suffer-lockdown-disrupts-supply-chain-1660442-2020-03-27
- India Covid-19 Lockdown Means No Food or Work For Rural Poor
Kunal Purohit – https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/india-covid-19-lockdown-means-food-work-rural-poor-200402052048439.html
- COVID-19 and the risk to food supply chains: how to respond 2020
- The Impact Of Covid-19 on Consumer Behaviour
Numerator Intelligence – https://www.numerator.com/resources/blog/impact-covid-19-consumer-behavior
5. Coronavirus Lockdown Having an Adverse Effect on Agriculture Sector in India
6. The Agri Entrepreneurs – Market Linkage Group Minutes of the Meeting and Recommendations for Action based on Web Conference on 4th April 2020: Covid19 – Supply Side Issues in Agriculture
7. Voices of the Invisible Citizens, A Rapid Assessment on the Impact of COVID-19 Lockdown on Internal Migrant workers, Recommendations for the State, Industry & Philanthropies
8. Live news channel
Report Submitted by ARDS Intern:
Sugandha Kumari (UR19106)
Xavier School of Rural Management (XSRM)
Xavier University Bhubaneswar
Assam Rural Development Society (ARDS)
HN: 347, Kahikuchi Road, Airport Road
Azara, Guwahati, Assam, 781017