Umbrella branding answer to issues in marketing of agricultural products : MS Brar, MD, PAIC

No.PR-72 May 14, 2020 Umbrella branding answer to issues in marketing of agricultural products : MS Brar, MD, PAIC Quality & Safety main concern of consumers during Covid-19 pandemic : K S Sangha, MD, MILKFED Chandigarh : 14 May, 2020 : ‘Umbrella branding can solve marketing issues being faced by Punjab farmers.’ This was stated by the Chief Guest, Mr. Manjit Singh Brar, IAS, MD, Punjab Agro Industries Corporation Ltd. while addressing a Video Conference on ‘Changing Dimensions of Agri Marketing Post Covid-19’ organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here today. He said that quality assurance is the main concern of consumers today but individuals cannot provide this assurance. Therefore, umbrella branding of various products at a good platform can be the answer as this will create a strong marketing chain and help in tapping various markets in India and also help in export of agri products. He said that organic products are becoming popular now but as agri products are perishable, a good sale and distribution network is required for them. He said that PAIC is launching App linked to certification, branding and traceability of various agri products to help the farmers. Addressing the webinar, the Guest of Honor, Mr. Kamaldeep Singh Sangha, IAS, MD, MILKFED said that quality and safety of food items is the main concern of consumers, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. The consumers prefer properly packed food items with minimum human touch. It is for this reason that the unorganized sector is facing difficulty in marketing of their produce. He informed that to help the milk producers during the lockdown, MILKFED has been lifting 40% more milk as compared to the same period last year. He wondered if California almonds can be sold in India then why quality agri produce cannot be sold in other countries. He said that proper branding of products is important for exports. Earlier, welcoming the Chief Guest, speakers and participants, Mr. Karan Gilhotra, Chair, Punjab State Chapter of PHD Chamber said that as lot of farmers are suffering to due covid-19 lockdown, therefore, PHD Chamber has organized today’s session with the objective to discuss ways to promote marketing of Agri Products online through E- Commerce models like Websites; Mobile apps; Online Kisan bazars and On-farm marketing, explore opportunities for industrialization of Agriculture, suggest policy changes/reforms for facilitating direct marketing to consumers and to create value addition of Agri Products and good supply chain linkages with consumers. Moderating the session, Mr. B M Sharma, Chair, Agri Committee of Punjab State Chapter, PHD Chamber said that Covid-19 crisis has presented us an opportunity to explore various new options for sale and value addition in agri produce and effectively manage the supply chain. Thanking the Chief Guest and speakers for sharing valuable information regarding innovative ways for survival of agriculture in these trying times, Mr. RS Sachdeva, Mentor of Punjab State Chapter, PHD Chamber said that Covid-19 crisis has taught us many lessons. It is high time that agriculture and industry should focus on local consumers. He said that there is huge scope for agri and allied activities in Punjab if properly managed. Therefore, he also suggested that all agricultural activities of Punjab should be digitized for better management. He urged that MILKFED and MARKFED should create a common platform for sale and marketing of agri products. Various experts from POSCON Jalandhar; Progressive Dairy Farmers Association ; UNATI; PAU Ludhiana; FAPRO Hoshiarpur; Kisan Club; Progressive Bee Keepers Association; Vegetable Growers Association of India; Apni Kheti; Innovative Fish Farmer Association (IFFA); Global Self-Help Group and Progressive Pig Farmer Association (PPFA) shared their views with the Progressive farmers and Industry members and said there is need to change the mindset of farmers because post Covid marketing of agri produce will require innovation. They said that if supply chains are properly organized where role and responsibility of every person is defined, then marketing is not a problem. It was informed that it is better for farmers to sell their produce directly on social platforms. It was also suggested that instead of producing one product, the farmers should go in for assortment of vegetables and fruits on the lines of kitchen garden so that the buyer can get all his needs through a single order. It was shared that the organic products are popular with the consumers and they have no objection in paying extra cost for them. Well established organic farmers have no problem in marketing their produce but small farmers are not able to get proper returns as there is no certification agency in Punjab for certifying that the product is organic in nature. Ends. Media Division PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry