The marketing of agricultural commodities is an area where significant value can be extracted and risk mitigation exercised. A lack of expertise and confidence in marketing often results in missed opportunities and unrealised potential. While there is an enormous amount of market information available and a proliferation of consultants, it is often difficult to know what is really driving the market and what impact this will have on the farming enterprise.
Reflecting the nature of the family farm enterprise it is often women who make the marketing decisions. Targeting this support towards, but not exclusively to, women is crucial as they are recognised as drivers of innovation and productivity in primary industries; and the initial CWFS AgMarketing Groups will be women. It is also widely accepted that educating women extends well beyond the individual or family farm business; with flow-on effects encompassing local and regional communities.
The aim of this project is to increase returns, marketing options and confidence by creating a decision support model and mentoring extension program for mixed farm enterprises that increases awareness, access and opportunity for commodity marketing and risk management. This will result in better whole farm enterprise management and increased support for women in their substantial on-farm commodity marketing role. A key aim is to test and implement the model and extension program in both developed and developing countries. Although in the global marketplace other developed and developing countries compete with Australian agricultural commodities, this project will generate a collaborative marketing approach which benefits domestic and international supply chains and communities. It will also give Australian on-farm marketers an understanding of markets, competitors and global factors that influence decision making at all levels of the commodity value chain, leading to more informed decision making.
To scope this initiative, women from the local area were encouraged to attend two pilot meetings in Condobolin mid-2016 to provide input into the structure of groups and proposed curriculum. It was very encouraging to see the high level of excitement and identified need for this initiative as identified by these women, and we thank them for their support.
Key components of this project include:
- Facilitated groups will meet on a regular basis and will be spread across the CWFS region
- Collaboration and mentoring between producers, marketers, traders, advisors, logistics positioners, processors and farmers (initially women)
- participants will be given the opportunity to gain confidence in trading with mixed farm commodities through the use of virtual commodities
- groups being given the opportunity to network and learn at an international level. This will initially include farming women in West Bengal, which will be facilitated by CSU Wagga Wagga, Ambedkar University and PRADAN in India
- encourage partners to participate in group learnings
We would like to thank NSW DPI Global Engagement Unit and Regional Development Australia Central West for their support and collaboration in developing this exciting initiative, and look forward to working with them over the coming months. Other key industry stakeholders have expressed their interest in collaborating, and CWFS is exploring funding options. CWFS and NSW DPI recently met with Evolution Mine (Lake Cowal) to discuss potential partnership opportunities.
We would love to hear from you if you are interested in being part of this initiative, or if you would like to learn more. Please call either Diana Fear or Di Parsons for further information.