When a farmer or aspiring farmer takes Small stock farming as a business the major objective is to make a profit. One can make a profit by providing a quality product that meets the market requirements. Therefore in simple terms marketing is identifying the needs of the customers/ buyers and then supply a product (sheep and goats) that meets the required needs in the right quantities at the right time and place.
Understanding Small stock marketing
Buyers require Sheep and goats of different ages, size, breeds, etc. Some buyers such as the local traders are much concerned about the size while some buyers from the urban high value markets emphasize on quality.
- Specific group of customers:
Some of the specific Small stock markets are individual traders, abattoirs, NGOs, ethnic groups and export market.
In the Small stock business the products that we can sell to the market are live animals, sheep and goat meat, skins, milk, mohair and manure.
It is also important for farmers to be able to plan their production so that they consistently supply the required quantities at specified time intervals (e.g. 250 slaughter Small stocks every month). This is key in business as this helps towards building longstanding and mutually beneficial relationships with your buyers/customers.
When we start our Small stocks to organized high value markets, we need to plan our production and logistics to meet the market requirements.
- The farmer should be able to understand the following:
*Understand the practice of Small stock marketing
*Understand the different market structures and marketing options available.
*Understand the key areas they have to manage for effective Small stock marketing.
*Understand the requirements for effecting negotiation and bargaining power.
*Understand how to plan for their business.
*Understand how to keep records.
*Understand how to budget and finance the business. Small stock farming as a Business
Small stock markets
Currently the market for Small stocks is highly informal and middlemen dominate transactions. Sales are predominantly at farm gate level and there is lack of market information.
Market options available to Small stock farmers.
This market comprises individual buyers who buy Small stocks for resell in high value urban markets.
- Private sector companies (Abattoirs, butcheries and others)
These normally require huge volumes of Small stocks to serve both the local market and the export market. This market emphasizes on quality, consistency and timely supply. There is high transport costs involved when accessing this market.
These are groups of people who slaughter the goats and sheep for traditional events and ceremonies. (e.g in Botswana the sheep and goats are slaughtered during weddings, funerals, traditional ceremonies etc)
Programmes like restocking provide a market for breeding stock.