3 Smart Ways to Purchase Your Farm Inputs in Liberia

Agricultural Supplements

Agricultural inputs are improved seeds, fertilizers, crop protection chemicals, feed, energy, and equipment used in farm production. These inputs, with the right applications, 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

Generally, a 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 have observed. Remember, you are operating in a terrain where price regulations on agro-inputs are weak.

The Window Shopping approach

Even though there is a weak price regulation system, one can still make the best purchase of 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.

One of the disadvantages is that this process consumes a lot of your time. It could take a day or more to complete your window shopping exercise. If you would prefer to window-shop 15 agro-dealers, surely that will take a lot of time. Another disadvantage is that prices of items might change based on prevailing circumstances. Limited stock and delay in in-bound shipment of inputs are some factors associated with this.

However, make sure you purchase the inputs that you want within three or four days after window shopping.

Group purchasing involves individual farmers coming together as a group to buy farm inputs in bulk. Another term for this is wholesale purchasing. This strategy cuts down the expenses of each single farmer since a good discount percentage is guaranteed. It is also time-saving for each member farmer in the group. A member does not have to worry herself about the hassle that comes with purchasing inputs. And of course, the vendor or seller is happy to be selling more of their products at a time.

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 only. If you would like to implement any of the suggested strategies, please seek expert advice.