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Holding a marketing workshop to increase incomes

A month after JEN held the Agricultural Training Workshop during mid-December, we held the next one that will contribute to increasing the incomes of our beneficiaries—the Marketing Workshop. Our main objective was to have our beneficiaries learn about how to efficiently sell agricultural products by gaining knowledge and skills in rural marketing.

To do so, we invited a facilitator who specializes in rural marketing in Northern Sri Lanka, and included topics such as:

1. 4 pillars of marketing (product, price, place, promotion)

2. Rural markets and customers

3. Quality improvement, price determination, distribution, selling techniques

4. Developing business plans

The workshop included lots of group works so that we could avoid too much lectures and have the participants were well-focused throughout the day. For example, the participants did role-playing. They were grouped and did a selling competition game by holding shops for fruits, vegetables, bags, stationary, etc. JEN staffs acted as consumers and walked around the room to see if they are convinced into buying products from each shop. It seems hard for our beneficiaries to practice any selling techniques and they just mentioned, “”What do you want? That is xxx rupees,“ as they lacked the knowledge. So the facilitator was able to assess the knowledge level of the participants based on this activity and include useful topics and group activities in the workshop.

[Workshop participants preparing their shops]

[A participant trying to sell vegetable seeds to JEN staff]

At the end, the participants developed business plans using the marketing knowledge and skills they learned during the workshop. Each group was able to explain about their target customers, selling points of their products, price determination and selling methods.

[Getting advices from the facilitator while developing a business plan]

Most of JEN’s beneficiaries live in areas where access to the local markets are limited, which deprives them of communicating with consumers directly. And they have to be dependent on middlemen who, in many cases, offer an unfair price to buy their agricultural products. We hope that the beneficiaries come up with better selling methods to increase their incomes by using the knowledge and skills they learned in the Marketing Workshop.

Arisa Nishida, Program Officer

【JEN is now accepting donations. Your help would be very much appreciated.

January 8, 2015 in Sri Lanka |