A strategic marketing plan for Agricol forage sorghum in South Africa
Roselt, Riaan Henry
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Agricol is a South African seed company that offers a wide range of seed products that includes sunflower, maize, pastures and turf grasses. The addition of a new sweet forage sorghum hybrid to the current forage sorghum product range prompted an investigation into the differentiation between the different forage sorghum groups, and their application in South Africa. A literature study was conducted to identify the characteristics of the different forage sorghum groups available, and their application in different production systems in South Africa. The study indicated that sweet sorghum is the most versatile forage sorghum available and that it can be used for grazing, silage and foggage in winter. A questionnaire was constructed to determine what farmers perceive as the most important characteristics of forage sorghum. The results indicate that high yield and quality are the most important characteristics when selecting a forage sorghum for silage. For grazing, the results indicated that frequent cutting and fast re-growth ability are the most important characteristics. The results also indicated what the most popular forage sorghum groups are. A need for the addition of a Pennisetum glaucum hybrid to the current product range was identified. A marketing plan for Agricol's forage sorghum product was compiled, using the market information available and the results of the literature and empirical studies. The marketing plan consists of market analysis, marketing strategy, financial analysis and control strategy. A five-year sales target was set Conclusions and recommendation were made regarding the results of the study.