BY BINISH QADRI
The concept of sustainable development originated from Brundtland Report of 1987 according to which development satisfying the requirements of the present generation without compromising the requirements of the future generation is sustainable in letter and spirit. It is the allocation of resources rationally, pragmatically, and judiciously in order to maintain the ecological balance. The agriculture and allied sectors remain fundamental to the sustainable development of the economy. This sector takes account of all those economic activities where there is the undeviating and unswerving use of natural resources as agriculture, forestry, fishing, fuels, metals, minerals, etc. Mining activities are considered a part of the manufacturing or secondary sector in some of the economies of the world although we see uninterrupted use of natural resources here. Generally, such economies label their agricultural sector as the primary sector.(Singh, 2013). But, they somehow lack the proper market intellect or information system for this sector which is why adverse selection takes a place that can destroy a market. With the result, modern marketing strategies like branding and packaging remain in a silent mode.
If the share of the primary sector is 50 percent or more in the total output (the Gross Domestic Product) of the economy or Net National Product at factor cost (the National Income), an economy is called agricultural.
Hirschman brings together the notion of backward and forward linkages in the theory of unbalanced growth. When investment in a specific project boosts investment in successive stages of production, a forward linkage is generated. It encourages investment in services that empower the project to be successful. On the other hand, when investment in a specific project knocks or reduces investment in consecutive stages of production, a backward linkage is generated. It discourages investment in services that enable the project to be prosperous. Not only does the agricultural sector meet the food and dietary necessities of our country, but it also boosts income, output and employment levels. In addition, it generates demand through various backward and forward linkages. Therefore, it is high time to make the masses in general and agriculturists and marketers, in particular, aware of the importance of strong branding in sales and marketing of a product or service.
Furthermore, the role of the agricultural sector in improving poverty and in safeguarding the sustainable development of the economy is time-honored. Nonetheless, noteworthy changes are taking place in the Indian Agriculture sector in contemporary times and the inkling that agriculture good should be branded, considerably like other commercial high-value products, is gaining the consideration of agriculture scientists, academicians, and practitioners. Afghani saffron is basically an unbranded commodity and for that reason by and large unidentified or anonymous(Wyeth, 2007).
Kashmiri saffron, similar to Afghani saffron, is fundamentally unbranded in the domestic and global markets. Marketing is a function (depends) of branding and packaging. It plays a very vital role in increasing sales and profitability levels. In Khorasan province (Iran), standard branding and packaging are adopted for saffron marketing and it played a very vital role in increasing sales and profitability levels. It added value to saffron exports through quality packaging. The similar standard should be adopted for Kashmiri saffron so as to improve its marketing.
Agricultural business commodities which in the past did not have many incentives to chase the exploration for differentiation should develop branding and packaging strategies for establishing a conspicuous and noteworthy position among consumers.With the help of event marketing,we can sponsor events to promote our titles and products to the market. The customers can have an enjoyable experience and at the same time be part of a specific business or brand.As Kashmiri saffron is the best saffron in the world as far as quality is concerned there should be Event Branding in Kashmiri saffron as it is one of the branding tools through which differentiation can be achieved. Through trade fair or exhibitions, live business concerts, conferences, seminars, etc. we can promote and brand our product. But, even then such events should have strong government backing.
Singh, R. (2013). Indian Economy (Fifth). Green Park Extension, New Delhi: McGraw Hill Education (India) Private Limited.
Wyeth, P. (2007). Marketing Afghan Saffron. Washington State University International Research and Development Report. Retrieved from https://afghanag.ucdavis.edu/grain-field-crops/files/saffron-marketing.pdf
—The author is an ICSSR Doctoral Fellow at the Department of Economics, Central University of Kashmir and Guest Faculty. She can be reached at: [email protected]