Dynamic Promotional Activities
IDEI realises that effective promotional strategy is central to creating a groundswell of demand. A multitude of static and dynamic promotional tools are employed to create increased awareness of low-cost irrigation technologies. These activities/ campaigns target smallholder farmers and convey the benefits of the product, including the features, availability, price etc.
Haat Demonstrations where in the technology is installed and operated by a visitor farmer. This showcases the ease of use and benefits and is one of the most popular activity undertaken by IDEI. These are held during the village haats(weekly local markets), mela (fairs) panchayat meetings, agriculture fairs, during farmer meetings and other such gatherings.
KB Clinic KB treadle pump is promoted amongst smallholder farmers. The treadle pump does not require much maintenance except for change of washer. This is required to be changed once a year. In addition many farmers like to get the pump painted every year to prevent rusting and get any other challenge fixed. IDEI conducts KB Clinic once a year usually just before the Rabi season in which any farmer can bring his/ her pump and get things fixed. The team creates awareness about the KB clinic amongst the farmers from few months before. The team ensures that a painter, weldor and village based mechanics are available at the clinic and farmers can make use of their services. Since the team creates lots of noise about the KB clinic many non-user farmers also get drawn to the KB clinic and make enquiries about the product.
Mela Demonstration where in the technology is installed and operated – by a visitor farmer, to showcase the ease of use and benefits is one of the most popular activity undertaken by IDEI. These are held during the village mela (fairs) panchayat meetings, agriculture fairs, during farmer meetings and other such gatherings.
Village Demonstrations is one of the vital methods of marketing and helps to explain the product completely, with features, functionality, technical, specifications, comparisons and advantages by providing ultimate solutions to defined needs of the targeted market segments. It is especially very advantageous in the initial phase of the programme. Usually, demo plots are set up in villages, were the awareness of the modern agricultural technology is out of reach among the farmer mass and in frequently used roads, which is easily accessible to farmers who intend to visualize the key features of the product. The plots are managed by the owner-farmer with advice and training from the IDEI staff.
Demonstration Plots This is one way of promoting a technology amongst the farmers. This is used in two cases- a) when a new technology is being introduced in a location or b) when entering a new locations. Apart from conducting the village and haat demonstrations, to help the farmers experience the technology themselves the demonstration plots are established. The organisation establishes a demo-plot on a complete/ partial cost sharing basis once. The cost of maintaining and sustaining the plot is borne by the farmer.
During interactions with farmers at the haat, mela and other gatherings, the grassroots staffs are able to identify areas where farmers may be interested in knowing more about the technology. Taking cue from the queries raised, a farmers’ meeting is organised where in (mostly along with demonstration), further details are provided about the technology. Installers, local opinion leaders play a key role during such meetings. These are an excellent forum that allow for a one-on-one discussion with farmers and helps them better understand about the technologies.
This trainings provide an opportunity to the farmers to learn about different aspects of IPMAS. In these trainings, farmers freely interact and learn about benefits of SAP products; importance of engaging in border plantation etc. These could be conducted by another user farmer or a local agricultural expert or similar resource. Usually farmer exposure visit follow such trainings.
Farmer Exposure Once the programme is in mid-stages of implementation, exposure visits are also conducted, for the farmers. It is easier for the farmer to understand the technology, use of SAP on their fields, introduction of new plant varieties and introduction of border plantations. This allows the new/ prospective user farmer to interact with an existing user and hear about challenges and ways of overcoming them in addition to learning about the value it generates.
Short Campaign is an effective tool for recall of product in old areas and fast method of creating awareness in new areas by the use of vehicle in the selected area through public address system along with distribution of leaflet. KB song is played on sound system to attract attention of farmers. Vehicle (rickshaw/ jeep) moves in villages and stops at places where gathering of people is high and grassroots staff addresses on microphone to gathering about KB pump features, benefits, uses, warranty card and dealer outlet. Name and address of interested farmer is recorded by the staff for future follow up.
Rickshaw Campaign This is also done independently and involves placing a sound system on a rickshaw and playing jingles/ advertisements about KB technology through it. Mostly one of IDEI team members also sits on the rickshaw and keeps making announcements and distributing leaflets (giving information about the technology) to those interested.
Training of trainers IDEI identified local village level youth and trains them in installing its technologies. The identification of such youth/ mechanics creates a buzz in the villages about IDEI promoted technologies. Eventually after the training when these participants start to earn money themselves they are very encouraged. All these trainings contribute to promotion of IDEI promoted technologies.
Video Shows IDEI uses innovative ways to attract villagers’ attention and educate them about the benefits of the irrigation technology. One of the most popular methods is the video van which travels from village to village screening Bollywood style films featuring the treadle pump and drip irrigation, set within a typical storyline of romance, drama, and a happy ending. At nightfall, villagers gather to watch these films that have proved a real success in informing farmers about the technology and encouraging further enquiries about them.