Agro-Inputs: 3 smart ways to purchase your farm inputs in Liberia
Agricultural inputs include improved seeds, fertilizers, crop protection chemicals, feed, energy, and equipment used in farm production. These inputs with the right application boost farm productivity and profitability. However, the availability of desired inputs and affordability of inputs are factors influencing the purchasing choices of smallholder farmers and the output of their farms.
This article highlights simple purchasing strategies that one can utilize.
Prepayment for farm inputs
Prepayment is any payment made before its due date. One can use this method for goods and services or employ it toward settling a debt.
Farmers, specifically, can prepay for inputs for a specific cropping season. Why? Prepayment for inputs will save you from spending extra cash on inputs that are in high demand during a particular cropping season.
The downside of this strategy is that constant purchases from a particular agro-input dealer give room to overpricing, experts observed. Remember, you are operating in a terrain where agro-inputs prices regulations are weak.
The Window Shopping approach
Even though there is a weak regulations system, one can still make the best purchase farm inputs at the end of the day, and the Window Shopping approach guarantees that. How? It works by inquiring about the prices of needed farm inputs from different dealers. The buyer determines the number of dealers to ask about input prices. What this strategy does is that it gives you many purchasing options at the end of the day.
- It consumes a lot of your time- it will take a day or two or even more to complete your window shopping exercise. If one will prefer to hear from 15 agro-dealers, surely that will take a lot of time.
- Prices of items might change based on prevailing circumstances such as limited stock and delay in shipment of inputs.
However, make sure you purchase the inputs that you want three or four days after window shopping.
Is individual farmers coming together as a group to buy bulk farm inputs. This strategy reduces the expenses of a single farm because a good discount percentage is guaranteed. It is also time-saving for a member farmer. A member does not have to worry herself about the hassle that comes with purchasing inputs.
However, there is a price that one must pay. Around Liberia, farmers ’groups charge membership fees or commission fees.
Note: This article is for information purposes. If you would like to implement any of the suggested strategies, please seek experts’ advice.