Assessing fertilizer buying behavior of emerging farmers in a South African grain producing area

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Fertilizer not only plays a major role in the profitability of the farmer’s business, but also represents an expensive farm input. The emerging farmer market segment is expanding and holds a great deal of potential for fertilizer companies to supply the growing need for fertilizer in this market. Almost all fertilizer marketing strategies of South African companies have been designed to cater for the commercial farming sector; however, if fertilizer suppliers want to focus on the emerging farmer market segment, they need to understand buying behavior of emerging farmers, as well as their needs when developing strategies to utilize opportunities in this developing market. This study aims to identify factors playing an important role in the buying behavior of emerging farmers in the Free State when purchasing fertilizer. The results show that service, brand, product, and learning or psychological factors highly influence emerging farmers’ fertilizer purchase decision. The study also finally draws recommendations and conclusions for managerial perusal.

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    • Figure 1. The provincial distribution of the maize crop in SA
    • Figure 2. The agricultural sector categories in SA
    • Figure 3. The three main farm inputs in SA
    • Figure 4. The stimulus response model
    • Figure 5. Mean values of all categories
    • Table 1. Differences between commercial and emerging grain farmer industry
    • Table 2. Reliability of the data
    • Table 3. Correlation analysis